Telling the World about Social Pedagogy

A message from Benny Andersen, President of AIEJI

On 7 May 2009 at the XVII AIEJI World Congress in Copenhagen, AIEJI approved the following resolution, which was endorsed by 44 nations. AIEJI is the International Association of Social Educators (still using the initials of its original title when set up sixty years ago).

Following the Declaration there is a message from Benny Andersen and a template for a letter for social educators to send to politicians and people in places of influence about social education / pedagogy.

The Copenhagen Declaration

The mission of the AIEJI XVll World Congress 2009 is to analyse and evaluate the possibilities of our profession in the light of a globalised world. A world thrown into deep economic crisis.

It is of uttermost importance to fight the economic crisis which increases social hardship for millions of people, and makes people poorer. A crisis, which in particular threatens the life possibilities of children and young people and has severe negative influence on the existential conditions for people with disabilities and impairments.

As social educators we must specifically point to the consequences of the crisis felt by vulnerable and exposed children and young people, as well as the most exposed groups of adults: people with functional impairment, the abusers of drugs and alcohol, the homeless and many more – people whose already strained situation is worsened even more.

As social educators we must put pressure on national governments and international associations and demand that they take care of the ones who are hit most severely by the crisis. We must encourage the international relief organisations to devote targeted resources toward the children, young people and adults whom the crisis excludes from the communities of society.

There is nothing positive to say about the humanitarian consequences of the current economic crisis, but the failure of economic liberalism gives us a unique chance to take on globalism from a new angle. A chance to make things better, to make the world more just and humane.

As social educators we must fight for a globalised world which benefits all. We must pledge to make our contribution to social cohesion in the society. We must create new alliances and lines of communication across national borders. We must develop new and progressive ways to obtain global justice.

We must pursue a cooperation across national borders where global networks and new media constitute a platform where social educators, as a profession, can develop and share knowledge about how to put the professional theories to work. This exchange of knowledge and experiences will strengthen the profession and be an advantage to the people whom we seek to help through our work.

Work which requires ongoing training and continued improvement of the professional qualities to ensure the best support possible to a decent human life that we, as social educators in a globalised world, can provide.

A Message from Benny Andersen

Dear member,

Celebrating the International Day of Social Educators

On October 2nd we are, for the 2nd time, celebrating the International Day of Social Educators.

This will be a great opportunity for us to draw attention to our profession and field of work. An opportunity to tell people around us – politicians, authorities and local communities – what we do and how our work makes a difference. And an opportunity to demonstrate what specifies our skills, experience, and knowledge – the sum of our professional qualities and competencies – and that these are needed in a world where the socially excluded and people with disabilities are still fighting for a chance to live a decent human life.

To celebrate this day, I propose that each one of you send the Copenhagen Declaration to relevant politicians, authorities, government agents and bodies and individuals within your country, region or community.  As a way of demonstrating that social pedagogy and social educators make a difference and stand together internationally.

The Copenhagen Declaration was formulated in relation to the World Congress in Copenhagen in May this year and signed by 44 countries. It is a document which directs focus to the specific professional qualities of social educators, the importance of the work we do and the need to stand together internationally in order to make our profession acknowledged in its own right and share experiences across national borders.

We are many, many who take pride in our work, and we should use this day to mark that our profession reaches across national borders and to share ideas and experiences. To make this happen I urge you to please use the AIEJI website,, to tell your colleagues from around the world who you are going to send the Copenhagen Declaration to and why you have chosen those people – either through a blog or a thread in the discussion forum. It is important that we support and gain inspiration from each other and use the internet as our platform to facilitate this. Make your voice heard, and we will listen.

Please find attached the Copenhagen Declaration and a letter template which you can use as inspiration.

And, once again, please use the website to let everybody know what you or your organisation are doing in order to mark the International Day of Social Educators.

Yours sincerely

Benny Andersen

AIEJI President

Letter Template

Location, xx-xx-2009

Dear Mr/Ms

Celebrating the International Day of Social Educators


On October 2nd the International Day of Social Educators will be celebrated around the world in order to mark the importance of the work of social educators.

Social educators work in a field often poorly acknowledged by relevant authorities and government bodies in its own right as, in many cases, it is categorised as either social work or education.

However, social pedagogy, the professional field of social educators, is shaped by professional skills and competencies that are quite specific. We work with children and young people who are often socially excluded, marked by disability or in one way or another, for various reasons, do not automatically find their place in society and the local communities.

Our main job is to help the children and young people we work with to live a decent human life and extend their life possibilities as largely as possible. This requires combined knowledge and experience in fields of psychology, learning, sociology and social work as well as a high degree of ethics and respect of human rights.

The Copenhagen Declaration is formulated by the International Association of Social Educators (AIEJI) and was signed by 44 countries at the XVII AIEJI World Congress in Copenhagen, May 2009.

The Copenhagen Declaration is a statement to work for an international professional qualification of social educators and acknowledgement of social pedagogy as a professional field. It is a statement to continuously work for the improvement of the quality of life of vulnerable and exposed children and young people and specific groups of adults. And a statement to stand together to share knowledge and experiences and draw inspiration from each other.

In celebration of social educators.

Your sincerely,



Member of AIEJI

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