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Department of Educational Sciences and Psychology

Fields of activity

The research and teaching profile of social pedagogy in Dortmund

Social pedagogy represents a social reaction to the contradictions and crises of modern societies. Since the beginning of the 20th century, a complex system of social interventions has emerged that aims to ensure the cohesion of modern societies and, at the same time, to produce ways of life that enable individuals to participate in society. Social pedagogy contributes to improving socialization and participation opportunities as well as the living conditions of children, adolescents and adults in the form of family-supporting, family-supplementing and family-replacing offers of upbringing, education and care as well as through forms of support in special life situations. It includes social services as well as person-related social services in the fields of education in childhood, extracurricular education in childhood and adolescence as well as for children, adolescents, families and older adults. Thus, it forms a central part of the infrastructure of the educational and social system in the context of the welfare state.

The perspective of the Institute for Social Pedagogy is directed in research, theory formation and teaching both to the political and institutional conditions of dealing with social problems and to pedagogical interventions, assistance and offers.

  • For this purpose, the welfare state's arranged fit between the needs and subjective perspectives of the addressees and socio-political programs are analyzed theoretically and empirically. Questions of socio-pedagogical treatment of social inequality, deviation and exclusion are dealt with as well as processes of participation, education and training.
  • Furthermore, the professional actors as well as the conditions and possibilities of professional interventions are addressed. The focus here is on questions of professional expertise, professional habitus, professional attitude and the design of professional socio-educational relationships. This is also connected to the reflection and conceptual development of the specific challenges for the qualification of professionals.
  • These research perspectives are intertwined with the analysis of organizations and institutions in which social pedagogical programs and interventions are realized. The form and constitution of individual social institutions and organizations as well as the welfare state arrangement as a whole are of interest.

The basic research perspectives of the institute result from the institutionalized field of tension between addressees, profession and organization as well as their social embedding. The different research areas take up these perspectives with different emphases. All research areas of the institute are located in a social science research paradigm. This framework ensures and promotes methodological, interdisciplinary and international connectivity