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“What Are They Really Doing?” An Exploration of Student Learning Activities in Field Placement


Smith, D and Cleak, H and Vreugdenhil, A, 'What Are They Really Doing?' An Exploration of Student Learning Activities in Field Placement, Australian Social Work, 68, (4) pp. 515-531. ISSN 0312-407X (2015) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2014 Australian Association of Social Workers

DOI: doi:10.1080/0312407X.2014.960433


Social work students consistently identify their field placement as having the most impact on their learning. Despite this, research on learning activities used during placement and the impact on practice competency and social work identity is limited. This is the second paper from a research study exploring student experiences of learning on placement. Data were gathered from 263 social work students about 14 key learning activities they experienced during placement. The more regularly students engaged in learning activities with their social work supervisor, the more likely they were to report a sense of social work identity and feelings of practice competence. However, the regular use of learning activities varied widely between placements. Surprisingly, approximately half the students did not regularly have the opportunity to observe social work practice, have their practice observed, or to link social work theory and the Code of Ethics to their practice with their social work supervisor.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Practice Learning; Practice Teaching; Social Work Field Placements
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Social work
Research Field:Social work not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Other education and training
Objective Field:Other education and training not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Smith, D (Ms Debra Smith)
UTAS Author:Vreugdenhil, A (Associate Professor Anthea Vreugdenhil)
ID Code:98340
Year Published:2015 (online first 2014)
Web of Science® Times Cited:31
Deposited By:School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2015-02-12
Last Modified:2018-04-10

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