The importance of practice learning in social work: do we practice what we preach?
knowledge of curriculum
social work education
L500 Social Work
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AbstractThis paper reports on themes identified from focus group discussions with practice educators, in which they articulated concerns about factors that limited their work with students on placement. Four key themes are identified from analysis of the data: (1) The absence of workload relief for agency based practice educators; (2) A lack of knowledge about the academic curriculum in qualifying social work programmes; (3) A sense of isolation from universities placing students with them; (4) Concerns about the quality of practice learning experiences they could provide to students. Expressions of guilt and anxiety were a prominent feature of the focus group discussions. Almost all the practice educators felt that their work in this role was not good enough. They were concerned about standards and missed opportunities to work developmentally with students who may be at risk of failing, or conversely to stimulate those who were more able. The findings suggest that universities should consider whether practice educators are sufficiently connected with other parts of the social work education system to fulfil their role.
CitationDomakin, A. (2015) 'The Importance of Practice Learning in Social Work: Do We Practice What We Preach?' Social Work Education 34 (4):399
PublisherTaylor & Francis
JournalSocial Work Education