Some Basic Concepts 1: The 3 Ps

The pedagogic role can be split into three dimensions: the professional, the personal, and the private.

  • The private pedagogue sets the personal boundaries of what is not shared with others and should therefore not be part of the relation with a child in care. The private pedagogue is who you are with your own children, your partner, your closest friends etc.
  • What is private to you is your decision, nobody else’s. You have to feel comfortable with the extent to which you share something with a child, but also recognise that they might feel the same way about sharing very personal information with you.
  • The personal pedagogue represents what you offer to the child, your way of bringing yourself into the relationships you are forming and into other areas of your work. Human relationships are always personal, and it’s important that you role-model what positive relationships are about.
  • Being reflective is a vital way of helping you be personal and be affected by your work, be empathic. Constant reflections ensure that you know why and with what aim you do what in the relationship, and it requires authenticity and self-disclosure in the relationship with a child.
  • The professional pedagogue helps you look for explanations for a child’s behaviour, so that you can really understand them in their actions, for example when a child is being abusive or rude to you or others. Knowing theories and concepts from psychology, sociology and education can enlighten you in this as they provide possible explanations and strategies to use in practice.

By developing self-awareness the professional pedagogue supports and protects you in having a personal relation to the child; it helps you make sense of the child’s actions and reactions, relating them to various theories and using professional concepts to direct and reflect your own practice.

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