Danish and Norwegian understanding of social pedagogy

Bidragets oversatte titel: En norsk og dansk forståelse af Socialpædagogik

Publikation: Konferencebidrag uden forlag/tidsskriftAbstraktForskningpeer review


Amela Pacuka from Norway and Hanne Meyer-Johansen from Denmark will compare the Danish and the Norwegian kind of Socialpedagogy
Through the presentations we will explore the differences between the countries in how social pedagogy is understood and practices. In the joint discussion that will follow the presentations, we will also look for similarities, shared ideas and possibilities for growing stronger together through learning from each other.
In the following we will try to draw a brief picture of a complex field by extracting some central tendencies in social pedagogy – ideas and practice in Denmark.

The danish social pedagogy is inspired by Natorps broad understanding of the concept. In Natorps perspective social pedagogy should be seen in the context of the emerging of psychology, with the first love for children’s protection and protection of childhood. Similar to Natorps thinking, the aim of social pedagogy in a Danish context was to investigate and determinate social conditions for human formation and socialization for providing guidelines for a character strengthening and character upbringing (developping self determined and authonomous human beeings).
Social pedagogy has historically been a natural part of pedagogical work and education in generel, but the broader understanding of social pedagogy has later been replaced by a more narrow one. This development is due to that more children and youngsters are referred to an ever-growing and specialized treatment system. This development has changed Social pedagogy as a pedagogy of the excluded and marginalized. Both the broad and the narrow understanding of social pedagogy has shaped the Danish social pedagogical debate the last decades. The narrow understanding of social pedagogy gained ground in DK in particularly with establishment of the social pedagogical seminars that initially trained welfare educators, later renamed social educators, who could work with all-aged target groups with social and disability challenges. This professional change led to the establishment of the union “The National Association of Social Educators” in 1940. At the 50th anniversary the association changed its name to Pædagogisk Forum with its justification of the narrow understanding of social pedagogy with its own subject field and theoretical formation. Later this narrow understanding of social pedagogy was reduced as an area of specialized education and was emerged with all kinds of pedagogical education in a General Education with all target groups. From 2007 social pedagogy gained place again in the new pedagogical education that included a specialization field, a development that have continued in 2014.
With the development of modern social control an increasing limited understanding of normality have ocurred. Furthermore social control has moved from the specialized treatment institutions to the society. Herman Giesecke introduced the theoretical term of offensive social pedagogy back in 1981. He argued that the pluralistic conditions of upbringing in modern society were threatening all people with special needs. The message was that social pedagogy again becomes a central perspective in general pedagogy where “abnormal” so to speak, becomes normal, and social pedagogy becomes the answer to socializations problem and challenges in late modernity.

Bidragets oversatte titelEn norsk og dansk forståelse af Socialpædagogik
Publikationsdato2 jun. 2022
StatusUdgivet - 2 jun. 2022
BegivenhedNERA 2022: Education and involvement in precarious times - University of Iceland, Reykavik, Island
Varighed: 1 jun. 20223 jun. 2022
Konferencens nummer: 2022


KonferenceNERA 2022
LokationUniversity of Iceland


  • Læring, pædagogik og undervisning
  • Socialpædagogik; specialpædagogik