International Journal of Social Pedagogy

An international open-access journal publishing high quality original research papers on social pedagogy in the broadest sense.

Journal aims and scope

The International Journal of Social Pedagogy (IJSP) is a fully peer reviewed, open access journal publishing articles on social pedagogy. Social pedagogy has been defined as education in its broadest sense which includes all aspects of social, philosophical, and pedagogical dimensions. Through the journal we seek to make a substantial contribution to the international discourse on social pedagogy, and its evolution in the UK. The journal is an important platform for dialogue that contributes to social pedagogy as an evolving interdisciplinary field. Articles in IJSP reflect the cross-cultural perspectives of a wide range of social pedagogical traditions and provide a deeper disciplinary understanding. We aim to contribute at a practice level and to the body of theory and research knowledge.

Drawing on various forms of knowledge production we encourage both rigorous original contributions about theory and research in social pedagogy as well as articles that reflect social pedagogical perspectives in practice settings throughout the UK and globally.

We strongly welcome articles that demonstrate innovative contributions which highlight the dynamics and potential of social pedagogy from researchers, scholars, educators, policy-makers, and practitioners in social pedagogy and related fields. Relevant areas of practice explored in the IJSP from a social pedagogical perspective include: education; adult education; life-long learning; social work; social care; personal and social well-being and growth; social-pedagogical problems (for example neglect, intimidation, bullying, prejudices, social marginalisation, school exclusion etc.); teaching support in schools; family support; youth work; youth and criminal justice; learning disability and physical disability services; support for older people; community education; children’s rights and participation in everyday life, and human rights, although this list is not exhaustive.

If you are an author interested in publishing with us, but are unsure whether your research fits into our aims, please get in touch and we would be happy to discuss your prospective contribution with you.


Journal supporting society information

International Journal of Social Pedagogy is supported by ThemPra, a social (pedagogical) enterprise which supports the sustainable development of social pedagogy. Find out more about ThemPra here.

International Journal of Social Pedagogy is pleased to collaborate with the Social Pedagogy Professional Association ( IJSP holds a stall at the annual SPPA conference and runs special issues that coincide with Social Pedagogy Professional Association annual conference themes.


The International Journal of Social Pedagogy, ThemPra Social Pedagogy and the Social Pedagogy Professional Association is pleased to alert readers to other journals publishing in similar areas:

  • The Scottish Journal of Residential Child Care is an open access journal that provides a rich forum for debate and dissemination about the topical issues in residential child care research, policy and practice, available at 2013 there was a special issue on social pedagogy and in 2016 the IJSP and SJRCC published a joint special issue on the theme of ‘love in a professional context’, available online here .
  • The Journal of Research in Social Pedagogy (Pedagogía Social. Revista Interuniversitaria) is a Spanish language based open access journal established in 1986 and published by the Ibero-American Association of Social Pedagogy. It disseminates the results of original national and international research on social pedagogy and social education, available at
  • Sociální pedagogika/Social Education is a Czech open access journal publishing theoretical and empirical research articles, book reviews and news items on scientific events in the field of social education, available at
  • The International Child and Youth Care Network (CYC-Net) aims to promote and facilitate reading, learning, information sharing, discussion, networking, support and accountable practice amongst all who work with children, youth and families in difficulty. Its monthly open access journal is available at



Prof Claire Cameron, Thomas Coram Research Unit, UCL Institute of Education, UCL, UK
Mr Gabriel Eichsteller, ThemPra Social Pedagogy, UK


Assistant Editor

Ms Robyn Kemp, Social Pedagogy Professional Association, UK


Editorial board members

Dr Katrin Bain, Department of Health and Social Work, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK
Prof Gert Biesta, Moray House School of Education and Sport, University of Edinburgh, UK
Prof Lieve Bradt, Department of Social Work and Social Pedagogy, Ghent University, Belgium
Mr Eldar Ćerim, Department of social pedagogy, Islamic Pedagogical Faculty, University in Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Dr Lowis Charfe, University of Central Lancashire, UK
Dr. Mette Christiansen, Concentration in Human Services, Department of Sociology, State University of New York at New Paltz, USA
Dr Marta Eichsteller, School of Sociology, University College Dublin, Ireland
Ms Lisbeth Eriksson, Department of Social Work and Social Education, University West (Högskolan Väst), Sweden
Assoc. Prof. Yvalia Febrer, Faculty of Health, Science, Social Care and Education, Kingston University, London, UK
Dr Kiaras Gharabaghi, Faculty of Community Services, Toronto Metropolitan University, Canada
Mr Jameel Hadi, School of Health and Society, Salford University, UK
Prof Juha Hämäläinen, Department of Social Sciences, University of Eastern Finland, Finland
Dr Kieron Hatton, Faculty of Sport, Health and Social Sciences, Solent University, UK 
Kevin Jones, National Youth Agency, Leicester, UK
Dr Lotte Junker Harbo, VIA Society and Social Work, Center for Research and Development, VIA University College Aarhus, Denmark
Ms Sylvia Holthoff, ThemPra Social Pedagogy, Germany
Prof Iro Mylonakou-Keke, School of Education, University of Athens, Greece
Prof Dr Sascha Neumann, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, Education Sciences, University of Tübingen, Germany
Dr Silvia Nikolaeva, Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski", Bulgaria
Dr Anna Odrowąż-Coates, Social Pedagogy Department, Institute of Educational Studies, Maria Grzegorzewska University in Warsaw, Poland
Dr Maria Cláudia Santos Lopes de Oliveira, Department of Developmental and School Psychology, University of Brasília, Brazil
Prof Pat Petrie, Thomas Coram Research Unit, UCL Institute of Education, UCL, UK
Prof Auksė Petruškevičiūtė, Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences, Lithuania
Dr Alia Pike, National Youth Agency, Leicester, UK
Ms Karen Prins, Center for Daycare Research, UCC Copenhagen, Denmark
Prof Carlos Enrique Silva Rios, Faculty of Psychology, Autonomous University of Puebla, Mexico
Dr Niels Rosendal Jensen, Danish School of Education (DPU), Aarhus University, Denmark
Prof Philipp Sandermann, Institute of Social Work and Social Pedagogy, University of Lueneburg, Germany
Dr Adrian Schoone, AUT School of Education, Auckland University, New Zealand
Prof Daniel Schugurensky, School of Public Affairs and School of Social Transformation, Arizona State University, USA
Prof Mark Smith, School of Education and Social Work, Dundee University, UK
Prof Xavier Úcar, Department of Educational Theories and Social Pedagogy, Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona, Spain
Dr Jitka Vaculíková, Department of Pedagogical Sciences, Tomas Bata University in Zlín, Czech Republic
Dr Karla Villaseñor, Faculty of Philosophy and Literature, Autonomous University of Puebla, Mexico
Ms Evelyn Vrouwenfelder, Independent researcher, UK
Prof Howard Williamson, Faculty of Business and Society, University of South Wales, UK
Dr Karen Winter, School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work, Queens University Belfast, UK  
Dr Tatiana Yokoy, Faculty of Education, University of Brasilia, Brazil
Prof Maria Helena Zamora, Department of Psychology, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil



Editorial Board Membership terms of reference can be found online here.


Journal information

ISSN: 2051-5804

Published by:
UCL Press
University College London (UCL)
Gower Street

UCL Press website:
UCL Press email:
UCL Press twitter: @uclpress
UCL Press Journals Editorial Policy:

Publication frequency: The International Journal of Social Pedagogy publishes articles on a continuous basis (as and when articles are ready for publication).


Contact the journal

All general enquiries should be made to the Editors.


Open-access policy

All articles published in International Journal of Social Pedagogy are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY) 4.0 international license agreement and published open access, making them immediately and freely available to read and download. The CC-BY license agreement allows authors to retain copyright while allowing others to copy, distribute, and make some uses of the work. Further information regarding this can be found at and licensing terms and conditions can be found in our Editorial Policy.


Abstracting & Indexing

UCL Press works with subject specific indexers to deposit published articles in relevant repositories and search databases. Articles published in International Journal of Social Pedagogy are indexed in the following:

  • Dimensions
  • Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)
  • EBSCOHost
  • Google Scholar
  • OCLC
  • OpenAIRE
  • Portico digital archive
  • ScienceOpen database
  • UCL Discovery  
  • Baidu


Peer review

International Journal of Social Pedagogy operates double blind peer review, where both the reviewers and authors are anonymised during review. Authors should submit an anonymous version of the manuscript, stripped of all identifying references to the author(s) for peer review.

Further information regarding peer review can be found on our editorial policy pages.


Article publication charges (APC)

UCL Press journals do not charge an Article-Processing Charge (APC) for submission or publication in this journal. International Journal of Social Pedagogy authors will not be required to make an APC payment for submission or publication of their article.


How to submit

Authors should follow the journal’s author guidelines:

IJSP author guidelines
IJSP author guidelines for Research articles

Manuscripts that are not formatted appropriately for the journal will be referred to edit accordingly before peer review. All submissions should be addressed to the Editors. For pre-submission enquiries, please email your abstract and author CV to the Editors. Before submitting to the journal, all authors must have read and agreed to the journal’s editorial policy, found here. By submitting to the journal, you acknowledge agreement to the UCL Press Journals Editorial Policy. All decisions by the peer-review/editorial team are final.




Publication ethics

IJSP Ethics requirements for papers submitted to the journal.


The International Journal of Social Pedagogy is committed to upholding the integrity of the work published. Papers may be reporting empirical research, or practice papers reporting practice based evidence. Authors submitting research papers are required to follow best ethical practice for research as outlined in the British Educational Research Association, available online at, or similar professional body (please indicate this clearly in your submission). Authors are required to show in their papers that they have received ethical approval for their research from all relevant institutional review boards and that they have followed General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) in the handling of personal data.  Where such committees do not operate, authors are responsible for providing evidence of their adherence to relevant ethical guidelines (please indicate this clearly in your submission).

Note: while not all social pedagogy researchers and authors may align themselves with education research, the Editors have elected to follow the British Educational Research Association ethical guidelines (above) as the principles align well with social pedagogical research.


Practice papers

Authors submitting practice papers are asked to uphold similar high ethical standards including the principles of anonymity and confidentiality and to take all reasonable steps to ensure that the participants whose practice is discussed in the paper have given their consent to publication. A statement to this effect should be included in the paper (see author guidelines for more information on formatting). Editors may question authors about the veracity of ethical procedures undertaken. 

Authors are also encouraged to read the UCL Press publication policy on ethical publication, made available here.


Preparing your manuscript

Authors should format submission in accordance to the IJSP author guidelines, as well as the following specific instructions outlined here.

The journal operates double blind peer review, where both the reviewers and authors are anonymised during review. Authors should submit the manuscript as:

  1. The complete manuscript not blinded, as a word file (.doc/.docx, etc.) and;
  2. An anonymous PDF version of the manuscript, stripped of all identifying references to the author(s) for peer review (anonymisation includes references to authors, acknowledgements, self references, and any electronic author identification., etc.) Manuscripts may be returned before peer review if manuscripts are not sufficiently blinded.

Papers must be submitted in English and should not exceed 8,000 words in total. Where the paper includes Tables and Figures, the word total should be commensurately reduced to allow space for them.

The anonymised submission must include a short but informative title on the second page of the manuscript, together with an abstract of maximum 250 words, indicating the paper's argument, approach and findings, along with five keywords.

Tables, line diagrams, data
Should be incorporated into the text at their final position, or deposited into a third party repository (such as an institutional repository) with full citation and DOI (Digital Object Identification) included in the paper.

A short list of any acknowledgements should be included at the end of the text, provided in the covering letter.

IJSP uses the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th edition, as a referencing style guide. Please ensure that references follow this format which cites authors in the text as (author, year, p. no), and the full reference at the end of the main text in the following format:

    Author, A. A. (Year of publication). Title of work: Capital letter also for subtitle. Location: Publisher.

    Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Year of publication). Title of chapter. In A. Editor & B. Editor (Eds.), Title of book (pages of chapter). Location: Publisher.

    Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (Year). Title of article. Title of Periodical, volume number (issue number), pages.

    Further details can be found on the American Psychological Association general formatting pages.

    Include the following statements that are relevant for type of paper you are submitting and for your work. Where there are bulleted choices, please include the one that is appropriate to you and provide any information required:

    Research ethics statement (for articles reporting on original research with human participants; choose the correct statement where approprate, and provide any additional information required)


    Declarations and conflict of interests

    • The author/s declare/s that research ethics approval for this article was provided by ___________________ ethics board. /
    • The author/s declare/s that research ethics approval for this article was waivered by ____________________ ethics board. /
    • The author/s conducted the research reported in this article in accordance with _________________ standards.

    Consent for publication statement (for articles reporting on original research or any activity involving human participants)

    The author declares that research participants’ informed consent to publication of findings – including photos, videos and any personal or identifiable information – was secured prior to publication.


    Conflict of interest statement (for all articles; delete as appropriate)

    • The author/s declare/s no conflict of interest with this work.
    • The author/s declare/s the following interests: ___________________________
    • The author is a current editor for this journal. All efforts to sufficiently blind the author during peer review of this article have been made. The author declares no further conflicts with this article.


    Article types

    Original research article
    Original research articles are detailed studies reporting original empirical research classified as primary/empirical literature.

    Review article
    Reviews provide critical and systematic appraisal of the current research to provide authoritative judgement to its particular context, topic, and field.

    Practice paper
    Practice papers are short articles highlighting aspects of social pedagogical practice in order to provide relevant insights into how social pedagogy can be embedded in practice settings. These should explicitly draw on social pedagogical theories and principles to show the theory-practice connection.

    Perspective and opinion article
    Perspective and opinion articles are shorter scholarly articles that cover key specific concepts and ideas, aimed to present a well thought out personal critique of the field, topic, or research, to stimulate further discussion and debate. These articles are normally by invitation only, however, unsolicited articles are welcome and prospective authors should firstly contact the Editors with their contribution before formal submission.

    Commentary article
    Commentary articles provide further explanation on a new or existing topic as well as an article published in the journal, aimed to specifically address the key topic or subject to provide further clarification to the journals audience and literature. Commentaries are usually shorter articles with concise and narrow narratives.

    Book review 
    Book reviews are brief concise articles that provide an evaluation of a published scholarly book.

    Book reviews are generally invited only, however, suggestions are welcome and should be sent to the Editors of the journal. A book review might assess the importance of a book's contribution to a particular field covered by the journal’s aims and scope and should aim to objectively review the strengths and weaknesses that concern the journal’s audience. Please refer to the journal's aims and scope.

    Special series

    Below readers will find a list of published special series in the journal. Special series (perhaps more traditionally known as a special issue) are a collection of articles on a particular theme and each special series is typically guest edited. Open calls for papers for new and upcoming special series can be found here.



    The International Journal of Social Pedagogy welcomes proposals from Guest Editors for specific special issues. These special issues are themed and focused publications that fit within the overarching remit of the journal. Proposals are welcome from editors with a specialism in any relevant field.

    All general enquiries should be made to the Editors at



    When social pedagogy goes to school

    Guest editors: Tara Bartlett and Professor Daniel Schugurensky, Arizona State University, USA
    Publication date: from May 2023


    Social Pedagogy and Anti-Extremism/Anti-Terrorism

    Guest editors: Associate Professor Karen Mathilde Prins, and Associate Professor Lone Bæk Brønsted, University College Copenhagen, Department of Social Education, Denmark
    Publication date: January 2023



    Social pedagogical work with children, youth and their families with refugee and migrant background in Europe

    Guest editors: Associate Professor Kirsten Elisa Petersen and Associate Professor Niels Rosendal Jensen, Danish School of Education - Educational Psychology, Emdrup, DPU, Aarhus University, Denmark
    Publication date: 21 April 2021


    The Relation of Social Pedagogy and Social Work

    Guest editors: Dr Onno Husen (Institute of Social Work and Social Pedagogy, University of Lueneburg, Germany) and Prof Philipp Sandermann (Institute of Social Work and Social Pedagogy, University of Lueneburg, Germany)
    Publication date: 26 February 2021



    Everyday Expertise in Social Pedagogy

    Guest editors: Mr Sebastian Monteux (School of Applied Sciences, Division of Health Sciences, Abertay University and NHS Tayside, UK) and Prof Mark Smith (Professor of Social Work, School of Education and Social Work, Dundee University, UK)
    Publication date: 31 August 2020



    Creativity and Social Pedagogy

    Guest editor: Kieron Hatton (School of Health Sciences and Social Work, University of Portsmouth, UK)
    Publication date: 20 December 2019



    Social Pedagogy in the Nordic Countries

    Guest editor: Elina Nivala (University of Eastern Finland, Finland)
    Publication date: 28 September 2018


    Open calls for papers

    Below readers will find all open calls for papers to the journal.


    Wellbeing and Resilience in Times of Crisis

    Early expressions of interest should be sent to the series editors Adriana Aubert and Anna Odrowąż-Coates by 31st October 2023 in the form of an abstract of 300-500 words, up to six references, and a 50-word biographical statement. For publication from autumn/winter 2024. Read more here.


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