A transformative learning approach to child protection with applied social studies undergraduates at a university in England
AffiliationUniversity of Bedfordshire
Subject Categories::X342 Academic studies in Higher Education
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AbstractLearning child protection requires more of students than simply understanding ‘what to do’ in legislative and policy terms. Students must reflect on their implicit belief systems to effectively respond to child protection concerns as future professionals. This is an instructional article describing a scenario-based survey methodology to increase students’ awareness of the ways in which they understand child abuse concerns. First, the important role of universities in readying students to work in the human services is acknowledged, along with a comment on the state of published literature in this area. Second, I set out the theoretical framework informing the approach, drawing on Worldview concept and Mezirow’s Transformational Learning Theory, which underpins a social justice approach to education. Third, the instructional methodology is detailed. Finally, the outcome of the session is presented in a series of thematic reflections. The paper concludes that the methodology adopted is effective and powerful in supporting students to increase their awareness of their own worldviews and how they relate to broader national child protection policies and practices. Adequate preparation of students, planning for student incivility, and, importantly, self-reflection on the part of the lecturer are key tools that should be considered if lecturers plan to adopt this method.
CitationAllnock D (2018) 'A transformative learning approach to child protection with applied social studies undergraduates at a university in England ', International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 30 (2), pp.350-360.
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