Dear reader,

Welcome to the world of social pedagogy, where theory meets practice, where holistic well-being and child-centred relationships lie at the heart of every aspect of work. At ThemPra we have made it our core aim to support the development of a UK approach to social pedagogy, because we want all children and young people to be able to live a self-determined life full of happiness, opportunities and positive relationships with other members of society. Social pedagogy can lead to improvements in that direction as it provides the children's workforce with a holistic and coherent framework of professional, personal and practical knowledge, skills and abilities - a framework that relates to existing practice, puts ethics first and helps make services even better.

With this website we want to give you an insight into the theory and practice of social pedagogy and outline why we believe social pedagogy can make a difference as well as what ThemPra does to make this vision become reality. Here is an overview of what you can explore on our website:


Visualisation of Social Pedagogy by Albi Taylor

Social pedagogy has become synonymous with many hopes about improving children's and young people's lives, especially those looked after. We want to contribute to a better understanding of social pedagogy, which is why we have made available some of the fundamentals about theory and practice. To start you off, click here to begin your journey of discovering social pedagogy by finding out what social pedagogy means.

In many European countries, social pedagogy has a long tradition and has drawn on many different educational thinkers and social philosophers. In this section you can read a little more about how social pedagogy has evolved.

As an interdisciplinary science, social pedagogy draws on many different theories and concepts to support holistic practice. You can find out more about the concepts underpinning social pedagogy on the continent in this section.

Social pedagogy brings theory into practice, so we've also included some descriptions of what social pedagogic practice is about. If you're interested in this, please have a look at the practice section.

It's perhaps part of the learning journey to misunderstand elements of social pedagogy or jump to conclusions. So we thought that, in order to clarify some of the more subtle misperceptions about social pedagogy and help you counter some of the more persistent arguments brought forward against social pedagogy, we should write a myth buster. Have a look here, if you're curious.

And to help you keep up to speed with the latest developments around social pedagogy across the UK, you can stay informed by following us on Twitter as well as regularly visiting the news section. This links you to news articles, media reports and conferences.


ThemPra and the Centre for Understanding Social Pedagogy at the Institute of Education are jointly publishing the International Journal of Social Pedagogy. With emphasis on a theory-practice connection, the articles in IJSP reflect the cross-cultural perspectives of a wide range of social pedagogical traditions and provide a greater understanding of social pedagogy in ways that are both relevant at a practice level and contribute to the body of theory and research.

And because we believe that access to knowledge and participation in the discourse around social pedagogy should not be limited to academic circles but open to practitioners, the journal provides open access to all its articles. You can get direct access via ijsp.thempra.org.uk.


As a social enterprise, ThemPra is all about promoting the understanding and supporting the development of social pedagogy. We want to enable professionals and their organisations to make sense of social pedagogy in their practice, because this can lead to better life experiences for children and young people. To achieve this, we provide personal and professional development courses in social pedagogy, work together with organisations on systemic implementation projects and promote social pedagogy across the UK. If you would like to know more about our vision and help us support it, please read here.

To find out exactly what we do, how we do it and who we are and how to get in touch with us, you can have a look at this section.


In partnership with the Centre for Understanding Social Pedagogy at the UCL Institute of Education and Jacaranda Development, we have set up a grassroots forum for social pedagogy - the Social Pedagogy Development Network. Whether you're new to social pedagogy or already experienced, the SPDN is a unique place to connect to like-minded and passionate people and help develop a UK tradition of social pedagogy. To find out how the SPDN works and how to get involved, please click here.


Interested in finding out much more about social pedagogy? Then you're right in the resources section, which will hopefully point you in the right direction. You can find a collection of suggested readings, information about degrees and courses, downloadable introductory materials to help you promote social pedagogy, a collection of videos on social pedagogy and related themes, and links to other websites you might find helpful.

We very much hope that this website can help you gain a better insight into social pedagogy and that you will enjoy the reading!

Best wishes from the ThemPra team


The International Journal of Social Pedagogy
To read the latest issue of the International Journal of Social Pedagogy please click here