Essay Social Pedagogy

Words: 1751
Pages: 8

Social pedagogy

As an idea social pedagogy first started being used around the middle of the nineteenth century in Germany as a way of describing alternatives to the dominant models of schooling. However, by the second half of the twentieth century social pedagogy became increasingly associated with social work and notions of social education in a number of European countries.

Social pedagogy is based on humanistic values stressing human dignity, mutual respect, trust, unconditional appreciation, and equality, to mention but a few. It is underpinned by a fundamental concept of children, young people and adults as equal human beings with rich and extraordinary potential and considers them competent, resourceful and active agents.
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Jean-Jacques Rousseau
A major impetus for the current understanding of pedagogy was the educational philosophy of the Swiss social thinker Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778). Concerned with the decay of society, he developed his theories based on his belief that human beings were inherently good as they were closest to nature when born, but society and its institutions corrupted them and denaturalized them. Consequently, bringing up children in harmony with nature and its laws so as to preserve the good was central for Rousseau’s pedagogic theory.

Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi
Rousseau’s educational philosophy inspired ensuing pedagogues, notably Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi (1746-1827), who refined Rousseau’s thoughts by developing a method of holistic education, which addressed head, heart, and hands. These three elements are inseparable from each other in Pestalozzi’s method and need to be kept in harmony. "Nature forms the child as an indivisible whole, as a vital organic unity with many sided moral, mental, and physical capacities. Each of these capacities is developed through and by means of the others," Pestalozzi stated.

New Education Movement
Pestalozzi’s ideas sparked interest across continental Europe, and particularly the New Education Movement transferred his pedagogic concept into various settings, such as kindergarten (Fröbel), school (Montessori, Steiner, Hahn), residential care (Korczak), and informal