Ross and Jacob, two members of staff from Leicestershire Cares, recently delivered a workshop to their teammates, sharing the knowledge they had gained from three days of training in social pedagogic practice and the ThemPra’s Diamond Model.
ThemPra’s Diamond Model (Eichsteller & Holthoff, 2012) symbolizes one of the most fundamental underpinning principles of social pedagogy: there is a diamond within all of us. As human beings we are all precious and have a rich variety of knowledge, skills and abilities. Not all diamonds are polished and sparkly, but all have the potential to be. Similarly, every person has the potential to shine out – and social pedagogy is about supporting them in this. Therefore, social pedagogy has four core aims that are closely linked: well-being and happiness, holistic learning, relationship, and empowerment. This approach to working with young people mirrors the way that Leicestershire Cares already works with young people, however, the training now gave the team a chance to step back and critically reflect on their practice, something that doesn’t often occurs due to the amount of diverse people centric work we do.
This perspective of social pedagogy means that it is dynamic, creative, and process-orientated rather than mechanical, procedural, and automated. It demands from social pedagogues to be a whole person, not just a pair of hands. It is therefore not surprising that many professionals in the UK and elsewhere have taken a keen interest in social pedagogy and have found it possible to relate both at a personal and professional level to its ethical orientation and ambition to provide children and young people with the best possible life experiences.
The three-day training workshop was provided by Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, which is funding Leicestershire Cares’ VOICES project. The VOICES project works with care experienced young people to help them express their feelings about the issues affecting them, giving them and voice which can be heard by decision makers.
For more information about our VOICES project or the work we do to support care experienced young people please contact Jacob: firstname.lastname@example.org or check out our webpage for care experienced young people.