Social Pedagogy in North America: historical background and current developments

Daniel Schugurensky


In North America, the use of the term ‘social pedagogy’ is a relatively new phenomenon, but social pedagogical practices have been used for a long time. The recent interest in the field of social pedagogy can be explained in part by the publication of an unprecedented volume of books and articles in English language, the creation of a new international journal, the simultaneous development of graduate programs in social pedagogy in the UK and the USA, and the establishment of a social pedagogy association that brings together academics and practitioners. In North America, social pedagogy thinking is influenced by the history of the field, by current social pedagogy theory and practice in other parts of the world, and by several traditions that connect education with social change. The paper discusses ten of them: indigenous education, progressive education, social movement learning), community development, public pedagogy, popular education, participatory action research, social economy, participatory democracy, and critical theory. 


Social pedagogy; North America; popular education; community development; participatory democracy; critical theory

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