ERIC Number: ED312974
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Jun
Reference Count: N/A
Knowledge Utilization in Social Work Practice: Implications for Education and Staff Development.
Baskett, H. K.
Questions are raised about conventional notions of social work education by introducing field-derived data of how social workers use knowledge in everyday worklife, particularly in the field. Two typical social work units (public and private) totalling 24 social workers were the main foci for data collection, and additional subjects and social work units were sampled. Data collection methods included observations, participant observation, structured and unstructured interviewing, and use of archival materials. Six different but overlapping types of knowledge were distinguished, and seven sources or agents were found to be instrumental in the creation of useable practice knowledge and understanding. The six types of knowledge covered: resources and how to get them; substems and how to access them; how to get knowledge; self-knowledge and how one learns; formal knowledge; and coping knowledge. It is apparent that some types of practical knowledge are not recognized as legitimate knowledge. The interaction between kinds of knowledge and agents of knowledge development suggests that a new model of teaching needs to be considered. Much learning of social work practice occurs in unplanned situations that are not organized for the purpose of learning. Present educational approaches need to be supplemented with some alternatives (e.g., developing and improving the field-based learning or practice that schools of social work already incorporate into their program designs). Contains 9 references. (SM)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, College Graduates, Education Work Relationship, Educational Background, Educational Improvement, Foreign Countries, Information Utilization, Knowledge Level, Outcomes of Education, Postsecondary Education, Professional Education, Social Work, Social Workers, Staff Development
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Meeting of the Canadian Association of Schools of Social Work (Quebec City, Canada, June 1989).