Taking the next step – service users and the training

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper, not in proceeding

Abstract

During the last decades, many new ideas about the proper ways to educate social workers
have been brought up by the profession and the social work research as well as by employers
and educational institutions. Lately though, a new voice has been heard – that of the client and
the service user. “We want to contribute to the education, we have a lot to teach the students”
they say. Social work education in the UK is now obliged to engage service users as coteachers.
The authors of this paper support this voice and claim that it is time to leave the competency
model behind (feed the student with as much knowledge as possible) for an advanced training
of professionals based on critical reflection and the sharing of everyday life with the people
who are to become the students’ future clients. However, this takes more than simply
engaging clients as speakers. In this paper, we report from an experimental course at the
School of Social Work in Lund, Sweden and argue that this course gives a possibility to move
along the road towards widened diversity and integration by challenging the traditional
academic base of the education. However, this course also gives the education the chance to
play an active role in shaping the society on a broader base rather than simply bringing up
new social workers.
This paper is divided into four sections. We start by focusing on discourses and problems
within social work as a profession and its education. Then we report about initiatives that
currently are being taken to put users’ involvement in the education of social workers on the
agenda. Thirdly, we inform about an experimental course that we run and especially
concentrate on the pedagogy that is used. Lastly, we make implications for the future.

Details

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Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Social Work
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes
EventSocial change and social professions - Parma, Italy
Duration: 2007 Mar 152007 Mar 17

Conference

ConferenceSocial change and social professions
CountryItaly
CityParma
Period2007/03/152007/03/17