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03. Socialt udsatte børn og unge i et handlekompetenceperspektiv - english abstract


Intervention, Socially Endangered Children and the Perspective of Action Competence in Social Pedagogical Work (ASP)

By Pär Nygren, Professor in psychology and social work, Høgskolen, Lillehammer, Norway
http://ebookstore.ebog.dk/Home/HTML/moreinfo.asp?bookid=53695763466 pages * ISBN 978-87-7684-233-8 * Published: 2008

This paper is the third in the series of fourteen electronic publications about the Danish research project "Action competences in pedagogical work with socially endangered children and youths - effort and effect" (The ASP-project). 

Action competence is a key concept in the ASP-project and is understood as something all children and young (as well as pedagogical practitioners and educators) have, but also as something which is context dependent and thus developed accordingly. The term is used to describe, investigate and guide the development of essential areas of socially endangered children and youths' life and reality, which is the ideal objective of the ASP-project. The concept of action competence is defined more precisely on the basis of five main elements: 1) knowledge, 2) skills, 3) control of relevant external conditions, 4) identity and 5) action readiness. Contrary to other concepts of learning and development which tend to only focus on the element of knowledge and skills, the approach in ASP-project is to work with the task of empowering the endangered children in relation to all five elements comprised in the concept of action competence.
    The author discusses the concept in relation to other understandings of competence while including relevant research based knowledge of socially endangered children and youths. The paper presents the theoretical and empirical foundation for the understanding and use of action competence in the ASP-project and offers concrete examples of social action competences and learning competences.
The following questions are dealt with:
1. Based on existing research knowledge, which areas of focus are important to include in the implementation of pedagogical interventions in social pedagogical work with socially endangered children and youths' action competences in day-care and residential care?
2. How is action competence used as a theoretical key concept - definitions and clarifications in relation to other approaches?

Overall, this paper presents a research-based discussion of the ideal types of action competences to be employed in the ASP-intervention targeting socially endangered children, who take part in the daily practices in pedagogical institutions. In conclusion, the paper suggests areas of action competence which socially endangered children need to develop further in order to increase their life chances and avoid social exclusion.