Social paedagogy addresses the modes and development of social support across the entirety of the human lifespan, especially in highly stressful phases of life and during existential crises. Work on the theoretical foundations on both a national and an international scale goes hand in hand with research and teaching in multiple areas. Here are some focal points:
- the paedagogy of early childhood; historical and contemporary lines of development in support, education and training;
- working with children and adolescents; changing patterns across time; differentiation of available tools; youthwork / streetwork on a variety of levels (clubs, open-ended, mobile);
- studying how adolescents cope with in-school, out-of-school and on-the-job challenges, with especial reference to school social work, job mediation and legal aid, and also including aesthetic-cultural education;
- parenthood and family issues; conceptual background and current status of available support for instilling job skills and life competence;
- working with the elderly; synergies between information and assistance needs across the spectrum of support options (day patients, semi-stationary patients, fully stationary patients.
As an auxiliary task, tangential to the above, social paedagogy stands up organizational structures of social assistance, but also methods for inculcating active skills (personal as well as organizational). These include the following:
- counselling children, adolescents and adults, especially in cross-generational perspective;
- supporting processes of transition, especially transitions to parenthood, but also school-to-work transitions.
The constant evolution of our knowledge pool and social assistance modalities, of the organizational structures and political baselines, requires interdisciplinary openness from social paedagogy. And it also requires critical alertness in choosing scientific lines of inquiry and arriving at an adequate professional self-understanding. That‘s why social paedagogy engages in a constant exchange with such disparate fields as psychiatry, medicine and justice, not to mention the cultural and social sciences and the humanities.