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Convergence and divergence in conceptualising the professions of social work and social pedagogy and their professional education, and the question of Europeanisation : Germany, Denmark and Belgium (1989–2004)

Kornbeck, Klaus Jacob (2014) Convergence and divergence in conceptualising the professions of social work and social pedagogy and their professional education, and the question of Europeanisation : Germany, Denmark and Belgium (1989–2004). PhD thesis, UCL Institute of Education.

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Abstract

Across the European Union, an aggregate professional field can be identified: the “social professions”. This field is characterised by being composed, in most countries, of two traditional professions with specific higher education programmes: “social work” and “social pedagogy”. The thesis explores their mutual relationship by revisiting theories from Germany, the home of social pedagogy, where the two paradigms have, in higher education policy-making, largely merged in the second half of the twentieth century. This development at the level of curriculum prescription indicates the so-called “convergence paradigm” advocated, for many years, by some academic authors. Alternatives to convergence were known, however, and an analysis of material from other EU countries may serve to reassess the thinking which has become orthodoxy in Germany. The thesis established the concepts of “social work/social pedagogy dichotomy” (the fact that the two paradigms are separate and discernible) and “social work/social pedagogy convergence”, the latter drawing upon the German concept. Using these analytical tools, first to revisit and characterise the developments observed in Germany, then to assess material from Denmark and Belgium (French Community), the thesis shows that dichotomy has continued to be a determining factor of professional education in Denmark and Belgium, while there are no signs of convergence. The discussion is based on the 15-year period starting with the enactment of the relevant EU directive on mutual recognition of qualifications (1989–2004). By ending in 2004, the investigation enables recent English developments in relation to the exploration and possible future introduction of “social pedagogy”, alongside “social work”, to be taken into consideration, thereby helping to inform current English and British debates.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Controlled Keywords: qualitative research, case studies, social work, social pedagogy, education, higher education, curriculum, policy, Europe, European Union Europeanisation, Germany, Denmark, Belgium, England, United Kingdom, convergence, professionalism
Subjects: Departments > Thomas Coram Research Unit
Depositing User: Mr Graeme Naylor
Date Deposited: 03 Jun 2014 14:37
Last Modified: 09 Jul 2015 09:16
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