Social Work Education - A Developmental Perspective Atalia Mosek, DSW Miriam Ben-Oz, MSW
Motivation and Concerns about Social Work Education
What kind of social worker does our program produce?
How does the process of socialization develop: What sort of transformations, processing or refining occurs? What is acquired and what may be lost during this process?
What do professors and field supervisors which are the socialization agents contribute and how does it impact the educational process?
How do social work students become professionals?
Empirically, what are the components of the socialization process, and how do these, change over time for first, second, and third-year students, in comparison to their field supervisors and professors?
Case study of a 3-year BSW program in Tel-Hai Academic College in Northern Israel.
Participants: A cohort of 89 students admitted in 2002 and followed for three years, along with 116 field supervisors and 27 professors.
A pencil and paper chart, where participants indicated the seven preferred qualities and assets which are currently used for fulfilling their role.
Separate focus groups for students, professors and field supervisors were used to discuss, evaluate and reflect on the developmental process of socialization.
Philanthropic stance vs. social justice.
Socialization agents with low motivation may affect the willingness of beginning social workers to adjust to a low status profession.
Average 20% of total components
Least mentioned quality
Differential focus between personal and profession experience.
Average 8% of total components
Knowledge Average 13% of total components
Formal Knowledge and Practice Knowledge.
Bloom’s Taxonomy of Learning: Stages of Critical Knowledge Skills:
Field supervisors: sensitivity , creativity , openness , responsibility and awareness .
Professors: openness and creativity .
Values Average 14% of total components
Social justice and personal care are the key ideological domains.
Field supervisors stressed personal care while professors focused on social justice.
Possible connections to career in casework versus group and community work, and psychotherapy rather than radical social action.
The finding related to the substitution of a social justice vs. a philanthropic social motivation was unexpected. We wonder, how we can broaden the value base, navigate and emphasize this trend in line with the social change mission of the profession?
Being a semi-profession, what is the appropriate framework for social work education: Is it an academic setting or a professional institute?
Finding that during the three year program, our students do not reach an integration between formal and practice knowledge, is this a function of a gradual learning process still in action, or a conflict between academic and practice knowledge?
Can we expect the social work graduate to achieve an integrated identity upon completing the program?
During this research, we found that creating a professional identity involves a process of deconstructing and re-construction of the helping relationship which is still active and unresolved at the time of graduation.
Are we as educators responsible or able to control or enhance this process?