Essay on 2014 09 Models OfSupervisonQUBLaTrobe

Submitted By Jz2718
Words: 8007
Pages: 33

Final report on
‘Models of supervision influencing student development in social work practice learning opportunities’

Dr Audrey Roulston (Queen’s University Belfast)
Dr Helen Cleak (La Trobe University, Melbourne)
Dr Anthea Vreugdenhil (University of Tasmania)

30th September 2014

Table of contents

Contents

2

Research team

3

Background

4

Methodology

5

Data collection

5

Recruitment and sampling

6

Research sample

6

Findings

7

Respondent characteristics

7

Learning activities

9

Student satisfaction

13

Readiness to practice and feeling competent

15

Developing a professional Social Work identity

16

Most helpful learning resources for PLO

17

How to improve learning during PLO

21

Discussion and conclusions

23

Recommendations

24

References

25

2

Research Team

Principal Investigators:
Dr Audrey Roulston, Lecturer in Social Work/Director of Practice Learning, School of
Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work, Queen’s University Belfast
Dr Helen Cleak, Senior Lecturer in Social Work/Director of International Placements,
Faculty of Health Sciences, School of Allied Health, Department of Social Work and Social
Policy, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia
Collaborators
Dr Anthea Vreugdenhil, Senior Lecturer in Social Work, School of Social Sciences, University of Tasmania, Australia
Professor Mary McColgan OBE, Head of School of Sociology and Applied Social Studies,
Ulster University, Magee Campus, Londonderry, Northern Ireland
Ms Susannah McCall, Lecturer in Social Work, School of Sociology and Applied Social Studies,
Ulster University, Magee Campus, Londonderry, Northern Ireland
Ms Debbie Smith, Lecturer in Social Work, School of Social Sciences, University of Tasmania,
Australia
Research Sponsor:
Queen’s University Belfast
Research Funder:
The Northern Ireland Social Care Council

3

Background
Widely-cited studies have highlighted the challenges for practice teachers (across professions) in balancing their role as facilitators of learning with the need to act as ‘gatekeepers’ to the social work profession (Juliusdottir et al, 2002). Within social work, practice learning
(placements) are universally acknowledged in the literature as the profession’s ‘gatekeeper’ by transmitting core skills, knowledge and professional values to emerging graduates (Bogo et al,
2002).
In Northern Ireland, practice learning constitutes 50% of the overall Bachelor of Social Work degree/ BSc Honours Degree in Social Work, for which students must complete two Practice
Learning Opportunities (PLOs). The first PLO lasts 85 days and the final PLO last 100 days.
During this time, student competence is formally assessed by the Practice Teacher against six key roles and 21 practice foci, which are determined by the Northern Ireland Social Care
Council, and can be found in the Northern Ireland Framework Specification for the Degree in
Social Work (DHSSPSNI, 2003). The process and content of student learning on PLO is guided by the student’s learning agreement, which is developed in consultation with the practice teacher, university tutor, on-site facilitator (where applicable) and the student. Current educational perspectives suggest that teaching on practice learning should not involve the student merely completing the learning activity, but needs to incorporate aspects of doing, feedback and digesting, and an atmosphere that encourages motivation and establishes a need to learn
(Teater, 2011). This context requires practice teachers to be skilled in using a range of teaching and learning strategies; yet there is limited empirical knowledge about how this learning is constructed and measured, what the student learning outcomes are, and what constitutes an effective practice learning experience. Social work programs, in partnership with practice teachers share a professional and ethical responsibility to provide appropriate learning environments to students to prepare them as competent and professional practitioners.…