Participation between pedagogical intentions and control efforts in a secured practice

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In Denmark, secured institutions are a place where children and young people can be placed under specially secured conditions in custody or under pedagogical observation. These institutions have locked doors, high fences around the buildings, bars for the windows, video surveillance, visit and letter control etc. According to the Act on Social Service, on the one hand the institutions have the purpose of controlling the children and the young people's bodies in time and space and on the other hand, offering pedagogical treatment, counseling, guidance, therapy, etc. In these institutions, one sees that management and documentation of social education practice has gained increasing acceptance as working conditions for professionals. The municipalities that are the paying authority are increasingly perceived as a customer who orders a service with expected results from the placements. In this context, secured institutions must be understood as one educational offering that provides a service. This bureaucracy and the results thereof must be documented by the professionals who deliver intermediate targets based on the municipality's overall action plan objectives. This bureaucratisation of the working relationship means that an increasing understanding of the fact that the professionals can apply certain pedagogical and psychological concepts in relation to the young people in order to optimize the results of the treatment.

In this presentation from one of my fieldwork visits in a secured institution, I’ll show that everyday life is much more complex and that the professionals therefore cannot handle conflicts with the young people with the same approach each time. In an example of a conflict with the young people in a meal situation, we will see that the professionals constantly have to vary and coordinate their varying understandings and actions in relation to the relevance of their common practice

In this context, secured institutions must be understood as one educational offering that provides a service.
Original languageDanish
Publication date8 Aug 2017
Publication statusPublished - 8 Aug 2017
EventThe 17th Biennial Conference of The ISTP: The Ethos of Theorizing - Rikkyo University, Tokyo, Japan
Duration: 20 Aug 201725 Aug 2017


ConferenceThe 17th Biennial Conference of The ISTP
LocationRikkyo University
Internet address

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