Responding to children in the 21st century. Education, social pedagogy and...

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Claire Cameron is Professor of Social Pedagogy at UCL Institute of Education, where she has been researching issues of care, social pedagogy, gender, the children’s workforce, looked after children and early childhood education and care since the early 1990s. She is also Deputy Director of the Thomas Coram Research Unit, a specialist social science research unit at the IOE. Previously a social worker, she has conducted many studies, with a particular focus on cross-national studies, funded by government, the European Union and NGOs. She led the first European study of the higher education pathways of young people from public care backgrounds (also known as YiPPEE, 2008-11). After a cross-national investigation of the quality of life for young people in care in European countries, Claire led a pilot study introducing European trained social pedagogues into residential care in England (2008-11), which stimulated interest in developing social pedagogy across the UK. Her current research includes: social and educational experiences of young fostered children; development and evaluation of Caring2learn in Lincolnshire; male carers in foster care; long term trajectories for care leavers in a cross-national context; and the early childhood education and care workforce. In 2017 Claire established the Social Pedagogy Professional Association, which you can read more about at

As a society we want our children and young people to thrive and fulfil their potential. How then, can we best identify and respond to their needs in order to achieve this? In this lecture, Professor Cameron takes the case of children in state care and the longer term impacts on those young people of having been in care. In particular, she will examine the practice of social pedagogy, which describes a holistic and relationship-centred way of working in care and educational settings, and what this can bring to young people’s development – physical, emotional, intellectual and social. Professor Cameron will argue that to make substantial progress for all young people we need to expand our understanding of the scope of ‘belonging’ to give children in care a ‘rich’ life.

The lecture will be followed by a wine reception.

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