January 23-25 2008 Edinburgh International Conference Centre
Post qualifying specialist awards: approaches to enabling work-based learning in social work
Keywords: Practice learning, work-based learning, enabling others, capability, post-qualifying social work
Authors: Miss Lynne Rutter (Bournemouth University), Mrs Sarah Williams (Bournemouth University)
All post-qualifying social work specialist awards are required to include 'enabling the learning of others', so that specialist social workers can provide basic support to learners in the workplace (GSCC 2006). This paper reports on a new programme unit designed at Bournemouth University to meet these requirements.
We follow the ideas of authors such as Lester (1995), Fook et al. (2000), and Barnett & Coate (2005) who show that professional development should be more concerned with approaches and processes (capabilities) rather than fixed knowledge and outcomes (competences). In order to deal with the complexity and uncertainty of practice, these authors place importance on practitioners being able to identify and interpret the multifaceted nature of situations whilst considering a range of alternative options. The type of practice learning required to develop such skills, abilities and attributes is also necessarily rich in complexity and our design thus aims to provide for these more holistic and flexible aims.
We advocate a mindset of continuing learning through critically reflective practice and collaboration with others, which aligns with the notion of building learning organisations and with a more meaningful integration of learning and practice. The presentation will discuss our learning materials and pedagogy, which aim not only to encourage and develop active, experiential, and critically reflective learning but also to provide constructive and creative methods for the enabling of such learning in others. In this way we believe social workers may be educated to fully develop the professional capability or dynamic competence (Doel et al. 2002) that will allow themselves and others to function effectively in the complex world of practice. The specially written book for this unit will be distributed free to participants at the workshop.
Barnett, R. and Coate, K. (2005) Engaging the curriculum in higher education. Maidenhead: Open University Press.
Doel, M. Sawdon, C and Morrison, D. (2002) Learning, practice and assessment. London: Jessica Kingsley.
Fook J., Ryan, M. and Hawkins, L., 2000. Professional expertise: practice, theory and education for working in uncertainty. London: Whiting and Birch Ltd.
GSCC (2006) Specialist standards and requirements for post-qualifying social work education and training. Practice education. General Social Care Council.
Lester, S., 1995. Beyond knowledge and competence towards a framework for professional education. Capability, 1 (3), 44-52.
All post-qualifying social work specialist awards are required to include ëenabling the learning of othersí, in order that specialist social workers can provide basic support to learners in the workplace (GSCC 2006). This paper reports on a new programme unit designed at Bournemouth University to meet these requirements.
Practice education skills are now seen as integral to the work undertaken by all experienced social workers.
This work not only explores how practice educators can carry out the essential roles of managing, enabling and assessing practice competence but also considers how they can contribute to the development and assessment of professional capability at all career stages within work-based settings.
The presentation is useful for any practitioner or manager who is in some way responsible for learning in the workplace.
Date: Wednesday 23 January 2008, 12.00-12.30
Venue: Ochil Two
Organised by the Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services in association with PEPE (Practical Experiences in Professional Education).