Navigating Ethics in Social Pedagogy: A Journey of Reflection and Action
In teaching, given its nature and daily life, it is common that with or without intention, the actors who carry it out exercise a double standard or lack coherence between discourse and practice. Therefore, it is very important to evaluate every day, as teachers will always be, in one way or another, a figure or role model for many students.
As a social pedagogue, navigating the ethical landscape can be one of the most challenging aspects of the profession. It’s essential to maintain a consistent line between our words and actions, while being mindful that every situation and context is unique.
In social pedagogy, we strive to create a reflective and critical relationship between theory and practice. Our goal is to use education as a tool to influence circumstances and shape a more equitable and fair society. This requires us to consider the individual and collective well-being of those we work with, providing opportunities for positive experiences and empowering them to take control of their own lives.
But how do we put ethics into action? It begins with our “Haltung” or mindset, which is rooted in empathy, congruence, and unconditional positive regard. We must be authentic and genuine in our approach, respecting the dignity of every individual, taking responsibility for our actions, embracing differences, promoting social justice, and standing in solidarity with disadvantaged members of society.
However, these values must be coupled with action. Social pedagogues work in two dimensions: the pedagogical and the social. Our role as a pedagogue goes beyond education; we must also navigate complex social situations and be a positive role model for those we work with.
A recent experience reminded me of the importance of ethics in social pedagogy. A rushed morning and a speeding ticket could have resulted in a negative start to the day. However, by taking a deep breath, controlling my emotions, and focusing on the needs of the children I work with, I was able to turn the situation into a positive learning experience. By maintaining a calm and measured approach, I was able to de-escalate a tense situation and create a space for dialogue and mediation.
In the end, our actions have the potential to touch and transform lives. By reflecting on our ethical values and taking intentional action, we can create a more just and equitable society, one person at a time.
So, to all the social pedagogues out there, let’s continue to navigate the complex ethical landscape with thoughtfulness, reflection, and action.