Reinterpreting Bildung in Social Pedagogy

Bidragets oversatte titel: Genfortolkning af dannelsesbegreb i social pædagogik

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftsartikelForskningpeer review


This article strives to reinterpret educational values in social pedagogy to provide a basis for a critiqueof evidence-based practices. The article focuses on traditions and developments in social pedagogy from a Danish perspective. However, the author often refers to ‘Denmark and the other Nordic countries’ due to the fact that many of the traditions and developments mentioned have taken place throughout Scandinavia. The author argues that ‘the social’ or ‘sociality’ in social pedagogy is not an evidence-based concept and must therefore be continually open for interpretation by professionals and clients alike. Furthermore, it is argued that this continual interpretive ‘quest’ (MacIntyre, 2003;Taylor, 1989) is a foundational practice in social pedagogy. As a response to the prevalence of ‘evidence-based practice’ and so-called scientific ‘hard facts’ within the social professions, the author argues for the necessity of interpretive spaces. The article explicates how the social pedagogical tradition in Denmark has built on the German educational tradition of Bildung, i.e. a broad, holistic, humanistic concept of education. The objective of Bildung is to educate not just toward knowledge but toward sociality. To work with Bildung within a social pedagogical framework, it is argued, practitioners need to be sensitive to historical, cultural and biographical narratives. However, such narrative sensitivity is only one side of the coin in working with Bildung in social pedagogy. It is equally important is to develop a culture that produces human presence (Gumbrecht, 2004). Practitioners must therefore navigate between interpretation and presence. The author argues that the knowledge base that this type of practice builds on is phenomenological hermeneutics (Ricoeur, 1976; van Manen, 2016). From this perspective the author discusses how the values of this tradition can be re-interpreted in a late modern society.
Bidragets oversatte titelGenfortolkning af dannelsesbegreb i social pædagogik
TidsskriftInternational Journal of Social Pedagogy
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)1-12
Antal sider12
StatusUdgivet - 21 jun. 2019


  • dannelse
  • Interpretive practices
  • social pedagogy


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