A farmer becomes a social pedagogue: A psycho-societal approach

Author: Karsten Mellon
Roskilde University, Denmark

Edition: Volume 56, Number 3, November 2016

Summary: In Denmark various non-traditional students are mature-age students who already have some kind of a vocational background. When applying to do a professional degree, most of them fall outside the traditional admission requirements, which is why individual assessment of applicants is necessary for bachelor programmes. This article examines the case of a woman named Amy, a mature, nontraditional university college student who becomes a social pedagogue. Because of severe allergies, Amy had to quit her job as a farmer and began to study to become a social pedagogue. Becoming a social pedagogue is a tremendously complex process that involves taking on a new professional identity and acquiring new skills. In order to ascertain the extent of this complexity, this article uses a psychosocietal approach derived from a Danish/German life history research approach. This article offers a brief presentation of the theoretical and methodological framework applied before analysing the process Amy undergoes to become a social pedagogue. The analysis demonstrates that this type of significant career change is demanding and, for Amy, filled with feelings of ambivalence and defensiveness.

Keywords: psycho-societal approach, life history, non-traditional, adult learner, social pedagogue, becoming

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This article is part of AJAL, Volume 56_3. The entire volume is available in .pdf for purchase here.

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