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ERIC Number: EJ1064072
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1935-3308
Epistemological Development in Social Work Education
Anderson-Meger, Jennifer
Journal of Ethnographic & Qualitative Research, v9 n2 p69-88 2014
Epistemological development is an important factor in facilitating learner identity and developing critical thinking aptitudes. This qualitative action research study explored undergraduate social work students' epistemological beliefs about knowledge, how knowledge is constructed, and implications for social work education. Data collection methods included a search conference, face-to-face interviews, and a focus group. The purposive sample consisted of 30 undergraduate social work students from a small undergraduate program in the Midwest. Constant comparison analysis informed by grounded theory coding indicated that students view knowledge as originating from relationships and personal experience. Students' knowledge beliefs are challenged by analytical cognitive processes encountered in social work education. The result is an epistemological belief system that is dichotomous, realistic and multiplistic, yet lacking in evaluative constructs. Pedagogy for facilitating epistemological development in undergraduate social work education is discussed.
Cedarville University. 251 North Main Street, Cedarville, OH 45314. Tel: 937-766-3242; Fax: 937-766-7971; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A