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  1. 1. Preparation for Practice Constructing a Framework for Learning Bob Cecil Senior Lecturer Canterbury Christ Church University Louise O’Connor Senior Lecturer London South Bank University January 2008
  2. 2. Outline <ul><li>Developments in social work education </li></ul><ul><li>Defining ‘Preparation for Practice’ </li></ul><ul><li>Module overview </li></ul><ul><li>The evaluation & findings </li></ul><ul><li>Key themes </li></ul><ul><li>Unpacking the findings:implications for Curriculum Planning </li></ul><ul><li>‘PREPARES’: a framework for practice learning </li></ul><ul><li>Final thoughts </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>“ I dunno,” Arthur said, “I forget what I was taught. I only remember what I’ve learnt.” </li></ul><ul><li>(P.White The Solid Mandala 1966) </li></ul>
  4. 4. Developments in social work education <ul><li>Modernisation agenda- to improve status / confidence in social work </li></ul><ul><li>Regulation - Codes of Practice Employers & Employees (General Social Care Council) </li></ul><ul><li>New Training Framework – National Occupational Standards (Key Roles) </li></ul><ul><li>SCIE: “Better knowledge for better practice” </li></ul><ul><li>to develop & sustain the social care knowledge base (evidence-based practice) </li></ul>
  5. 5. Key themes <ul><li>Generic Degree </li></ul><ul><li>Inter-professionalism </li></ul><ul><li>Partnership Working & Collaborative Practice </li></ul><ul><li>Service User & Carer Participation </li></ul><ul><li>Theory & Practice Integration </li></ul><ul><li>Evidence Based Approach & Research Mindedness </li></ul><ul><li>Practice-focussed Curriculum </li></ul>
  6. 6. Preparation for Practice <ul><li>Providers must: </li></ul><ul><li>‘ ensure that all students undergo assessed preparation for direct practice to ensure their safety to undertake practice learning in a service delivery setting. This preparation must include the opportunity to develop a greater understanding of the experience of service users and the opportunity to shadow an experienced social worker ’ (authors’ emphasis) (DoH, 2002:3). </li></ul>
  7. 7. 4 key aspects led to further questions : <ul><li>What are the key elements of preparation? </li></ul><ul><li>How could students best learn about the experience of service users? </li></ul><ul><li>What personal & professional learning would result from work shadowing? </li></ul><ul><li>What knowledge underpins safety to practise and in practice? </li></ul><ul><li>What would the evaluation tell us about students’ levels of knowledge & understanding in initial stage of training? </li></ul><ul><li>How would we recreate / revise the PFP curriculum? </li></ul><ul><li>How are the first steps as part of an incremental & coherent approach to students’ learning? </li></ul>
  8. 8. Literature <ul><li>Preparation for practice learning remains largely undefined </li></ul><ul><li>Research into effective field education is still in its infancy (Parker, 2007) </li></ul><ul><li>Views of first line managers & perceptions of newly qualified practitioners –readiness for realities of practice ( Marsh & Triseliotis, 1996) </li></ul><ul><li>Some exploration of concepts of ‘ competence’ & ‘capability’ </li></ul><ul><li>Need differentiation between ‘competence for practice’ (prior to practice) & ‘competence in practice’ (post-qualification (Preston-Shoot, 2004) </li></ul>
  9. 9. The Module <ul><li>A series of taught workshops on the nature of professional social work: social work roles, duties & responsibilities, ethical dimensions, service user perspectives, reflective practice & the use of theory in practice. </li></ul><ul><li>Completion of a Virtual Placement CD-Rom & Quiz. </li></ul><ul><li>Work Shadowing a qualified social worker (minimum of </li></ul><ul><li>3 days. </li></ul><ul><li>Completion of Work Shadowing Observation Journals including demonstration of understanding of core social work roles and responsibilities & the GSCC Codes of Practice </li></ul><ul><li>A Written Assignment. </li></ul>
  10. 10. The Evaluation <ul><li>To evaluate if and how students felt the module prepared them for their first practice learning experience. </li></ul><ul><li>To highlight significant aspects of personal and professional learning identified by students. </li></ul><ul><li>To begin to identify the key features of an effective Preparation for Practice Learning framework </li></ul>
  11. 11. Methodology : questionnaires and focus group <ul><li>Student profile: </li></ul><ul><li>41 students </li></ul><ul><li>24 different languages were spoken </li></ul><ul><li>28 minority ethnic backgrounds </li></ul><ul><li>Average age was 32 years (range 20 – 50) </li></ul><ul><li>4 men in the group. </li></ul><ul><li>Average length of pre-course social care experience was 2 years </li></ul>
  12. 12. The Nature of Social Work <ul><li>The first thing I learned ….. it is not always about helping people as not all people who come into contact with social workers do so voluntarily… social workers help is not always wanted.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Social worker intervenes to help people take control of their lives, providing them with assistance …… it is not about taking charge and disempowering the service users.” </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;I was surprised at just how much paperwork is involved as well as the write- ups” </li></ul><ul><li>“ It is very authoritative. People are said to be given choices but how do they choose when resources are limited?” </li></ul>
  13. 13. Skills, Knowledge & Goal Setting <ul><li>“ Social work practice can be pressured and require strong organisation of time and good analytical skills in clarifying and taking in large amounts of information.“ </li></ul><ul><li>“ Needs a lot of commitment, one has to be aware of (one’s) values and it can be contradictory in relationship to the (social work) values.” </li></ul>
  14. 14. Key Themes <ul><li>Addressing the nature of social work </li></ul><ul><li>Professionalism </li></ul><ul><li>Reflective Practice </li></ul><ul><li>AOP / ADP- power, empowerment & principled practice </li></ul><ul><li>Professional requirements & work based / practical realities </li></ul><ul><li>Observational learning </li></ul><ul><li>Communication and interpersonal skills / approach & style in practice / emotional literacy </li></ul>
  15. 15. Unpacking the findings <ul><li>Importance of critical reflection in articulating the theoretical </li></ul><ul><li>Fook :‘fragmented and diverse contexts’ (2003:1) & </li></ul><ul><li>dangers of ‘constructing theory & practice as separate entities’ (2002:26) </li></ul><ul><li>Usher’s (1989) typology of knowledge: </li></ul><ul><li>- Theoretical - to discover the nature of the world & what ‘necessarily exists’ </li></ul><ul><li>- Technical - (‘know-how’) - instrumental or ‘means end’ reasoning </li></ul><ul><li>- Practical knowledge - purpose to act appropriately & ethically in the world </li></ul>
  16. 16. Unpacking the findings <ul><li>Cree ( 2003) – becoming, identifying & conducting self as a professional practitioner </li></ul><ul><li>Eadie & Lymbery (2002) - personal development as part of process of professionalisation </li></ul><ul><li>Emotional intelligence (Mayer & Salovey 1993; Morrison, 2007) </li></ul>
  17. 17. Planning the Curriculum <ul><li>Balance between teacher- centred (‘classical’) & student-centred (‘romantic’) curricula ((Lawton,1973) </li></ul><ul><li>Andragogy & pedagogy debate – the need to use students’ experience i.e.. Jarvis’ (1993) major variable is experience not chronological age </li></ul><ul><li>Bines’ (1992) 3 fold typology of professional education training models: </li></ul><ul><li>- Apprenticeship </li></ul><ul><ul><li>- Technocratic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>- Post technocratic model of initial professional education - builds on the experience of practice & reflection on same </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Teaching & Learning Strategies <ul><li>Learning through Observation </li></ul><ul><li>Observational learning well documented (Bandura,1977 ) </li></ul><ul><li>Child observation (Trowell & Miles,1991; Briggs,1999, Tanner & Le Riche,1998) </li></ul><ul><li>Le Riche (2006) - the pedagogical value of a work shadowing experience allowing access to the subtleties of communication, culture & anti-oppressive practice </li></ul><ul><li>Brearley (2007:94) - the need to refine one’s observation skills in understanding ‘ the complex medium which constitutes the workplace’ </li></ul><ul><li>Hinshelwood & Skogstad (2000) - promoting understanding of organisational transactions & processes in health settings </li></ul>
  19. 19. Teaching & Learning Strategies <ul><li>Importance of stories, metaphors & practice based case examples as a necessary part of the learning process to communicate knowledge & understanding – finding the space for reflection. (Osmond & O’Connor 2004) </li></ul><ul><li>Teaching of theory - the theory circle ‘theory to understand’ & ‘theory to intervene’ (Collingwood et al 2008) </li></ul><ul><li>Student-centred group methods - discussion / debate / fishbowl to facilitate group learning (Jarvis, 1993) & foster trust & cohesion for a newly forming and diverse group </li></ul><ul><li>Controlling & pacing learning – Computer assisted learning (Singh Cooner & Doel, 2003) individual student-centred method </li></ul>
  20. 20. ‘ PREPARES’ Framework <ul><li>P - Personal Skill & Development </li></ul><ul><li>R - Reflective Practice </li></ul><ul><li>E - Exploration of Theory and Knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>P - Professionalism </li></ul><ul><li>A - Anti-Oppressive / Anti-discriminatory Practice: Social Work Values </li></ul><ul><li>R - Reality of Social Work Environments </li></ul><ul><li>E - Emotional Intelligence </li></ul><ul><li>S - Service User & Carer Perspectives © </li></ul><ul><li>(O’Connor, Cecil & Boudioni 2007) </li></ul>
  21. 21. Final thoughts <ul><li>Importance of evaluating students’ learning as part of the first steps on their professional journey - ‘evidence-informed practice.’ </li></ul><ul><li>Model offers a foundation & framework on which to build. </li></ul><ul><li>Changes implemented: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Strengthen level 1 input on interpersonal skills and communication to address emotional literacy, skill development, personal agency & effectiveness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Addressing reflective practice within the curriculum using explorative writing and group work ( Bolton, 2001) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identifying & strengthening trans-module learning </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Final thoughts <ul><li>Effective learning: </li></ul><ul><li>‘ allows structures of meaning to be </li></ul><ul><li>recognised, and to be open to change, </li></ul><ul><li>in a way which facilitates a different </li></ul><ul><li>(and perhaps more constructive) </li></ul><ul><li>professional response’ </li></ul><ul><li>(Yelloly & Henkel, 1995:9) </li></ul>
  23. 23. Bibliography <ul><li>Bandura, A.(1977) Social Learning Theory. Prentice-Hall: Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. </li></ul><ul><li>Bines, H. (1992) ‘Issues in course design’, in Bines, H. & Watson, D. (eds) Developing Professional Education Buckingham: SRHE and Open University Press </li></ul><ul><li>Briggs, S. (1999) ‘Links between infant observation and reflective social work practice’. Journal of Social Work Practice, vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 147-156. </li></ul><ul><li>Brearley, J. (2007) ‘A psychodynamic approach to social work in Lishman, J. (2nd ed) ( 2007) Handbook for Practice Learning in Social Work and Social Care London :Jessica Kingsley Publishers </li></ul><ul><li>Bolton, G.( 2001) Reflective Practice: Writing and professional development. London: Sage. </li></ul><ul><li>Collingwood, P.,Emond,R.,& Woodward, R. 2008 The Theory Circle: A Tool for Learning and for Practice Social Work Education vol 27, no1,pp. 70-83 </li></ul><ul><li>Cree, V. (2003) Becoming a Social Worker . Routledge, London. </li></ul><ul><li>Department of Health (2002) The Requirements for Social Work Training . Department of Health, London. </li></ul><ul><li>Eadie, T. and Lymbery, M. (2002) ‘Understanding and working in welfare organisations: helping students survive the workplace’ Social Work Education, vol. 21, no. 5, pp. 515-527. </li></ul><ul><li>Fook, J. (2002) Social Work: Critical Theory & Practice . Sage:London . </li></ul><ul><li>Fook, J. (2003) Negotiating for Social Justice . Plenary delivered at the 28th Australian Association of Social Workers National Conference, 30th September 2003. Canberra, Australia. </li></ul><ul><li>General Social Care Council (2002) Codes of Practice for Social Care Workers and Employers. General Social Care Council: London </li></ul><ul><li>Hinshelwood, R.D. & Skogstad, W. (2000) Observing Organisations:Anxiety, Defence and Culture in Health Care .London:Routledge </li></ul><ul><li>Lawton , D. (1973) Social Change, Educational Theory and Curriculum Planning London: Hodder and Stoughton </li></ul>
  24. 24. Bibliography <ul><li>Jarvis,P.(2nd ed.)(1993) Adult & Continuing Education . .London:Routledge </li></ul><ul><li>Le Riche, P. (2006) ’Practising observation in shadowing: curriculum innovation and learning on the BA Social Work’. Social Work Education , vol. 25, no. 8, pp. 771-784. </li></ul><ul><li>Knowles,M. (1989)- The Making of an Adult Educator .San Francisco: Jossey Bass. </li></ul><ul><li>Marsh, P. and Triseliotis, J. (1996) Ready to Practice? Social Workers and Probation Officers: Their Training and First Year in Work, Avebury, Aldershot. </li></ul><ul><li>Mayer,J.D. and Salovey, P. (1993)‘The intelligence of emotional intelligence’, Intelligence, vol. 17, no. 4, pp. 433-442. </li></ul><ul><li>Morrison, T. (2007) ’Emotional intelligence, emotion and social work: context, characteristics, complications and contribution’. British Journal of Social Work , vol. 37, no. 2, pp. 245-263. </li></ul><ul><li>O’Connor, L, Cecil, R & Boudioni, M. (2007) ‘Preparing for practice: an evaluation of an undergraduate social work ‘preparation for practice module’. Social Work Education . (in press). </li></ul><ul><li>Osmond, J. & O’Connor, I.(2004) ‘Formalizing the unformalized: Practitioners’ communication of knowledge in practice.’ British Journal of Social Work 34,677-692) </li></ul><ul><li>Parker, J. (2007) ‘Developing effective practice learning for tomorrow’s social workers’. Social Work Education, pp. 1-17. iFirst DOI:10.1080/02615470601140476 </li></ul><ul><li>Preston-Shoot, M. (2004) ‘Responding by degrees; surveying the education and practice landscape’. Social Work Education, vol. 23, no. 6, pp 667-692. </li></ul><ul><li>Singh Cooner, T. and Doel, M. (2003) CD-Rom The Virtual Placement. Available online: </li></ul><ul><li>Tanner, K. and Le Riche, P (1998) Observation And Its Application To Social Work: Rather Like Breathing. Jessica Kingsley, London. </li></ul><ul><li>Triseliotis, J. and Marsh, P. (1996) Readiness to Practice: The Training of Social Workers in Scotland and their First Year in Work . The Stationery Office, Edinburgh. </li></ul><ul><li>Trowell, J. and Miles, G. (1991) The contribution of observation training to professional development in social work. Journal of Social Work Practice vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 51-60. </li></ul><ul><li>Usher, R. (1989) ‘ Locating adult education in the practical ’ in Bright, B. (Ed) (1989) Theory and Practice in the Study of Adult Education. Routledge: London. </li></ul><ul><li>Yelloly, M. & Henkel,M. (1995) (eds) Teaching and Learning in Social Work:Reflective Practice.London:Jessica Kingsley. </li></ul>