"It's a huge quart that you are trying to get into a plant pot or an egg cup really": The challenges in learning and teaching faced by social work programmes in the development of the new social work degree in England

Pam Green Lister, Gillian MacIntyre

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


    This paper will contribute to the sharing of effective learning and teaching by drawing on a three year evaluation of the new social work degree in England which was introduced in 2003-4. As part of the evaluation, data was gathered from six case study sites offering a total of nine social work programmes and an online student survey. Data from the case study sites includes key informant interviews with academic staff, focus groups with students and service users and carers, undertaken in the first and last year of the student cohort 2004-7, and analysis of course documentation. The online survey was completed by a total of 3000 students over seven time periods. In addition, 'fact find' of all HEI programmes offering social work at qualification level was completed. The focus of this paper is on the development of curriculum design, and learning and teaching and assessment methods which took place in the programmes in response to the requirements of the new degree. The paper will highlight examples of innovative practice in learning and teaching that developed as a result of the implementation of the new degree, alongside a discussion of the challenges posed by the new requirements for the degree. These challenges include the incorporation of the specific areas of curriculum content as identified by the Department of Health, the increased number of practice learning days, the increase in academic level determined by the subject benchmarking statement for social work and the meeting of the National Occupation Standards for Social Work. Examples of how the case study sites met these challenges over the three year period will be given and the perspectives of the different stakeholders will be presented.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusUnpublished - 9 Jul 2009
    Event11th UK Joint Social Work Education Conference - Hertfordshire, UK
    Duration: 8 Jul 200910 Jul 2009


    Conference11th UK Joint Social Work Education Conference
    CityHertfordshire, UK


    • curriculum design
    • learning
    • teaching
    • assessment methods
    • social work

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