Menu Expand
Practice Education in Social Work

Practice Education in Social Work

Pam Field | Cathie Jasper | Lesley Littler


Additional Information

Book Details


Now fully updated to reflect the changing social work landscape and with an expanded section on improving emotional resilience, this book is an invaluable guide for Practice Educators and Practice Supervisors undertaking learning and assessment to gain and maintain Stage 1 or 2 status under the Practice Educator Professional Standards for Social Work (2013) and for those involved in facilitating the learning, support, assessment and CPD of Practice Educators.

Intended to enhance the learning and assessment of Practice Educators, it covers all key areas within Practice Educator training and offers guidance on the application of key skills and knowledge in supporting, assessing and teaching social work students and managing the placement. It will particularly assist Practice Educators to: 

  • Understand and implement effective supervision of social work students
  • Understand holistic assessment of practice; assessing in line with capability levels expected at the end of first and final placement
  • Deal with weaker or failing students.

Pam Field is a registered social worker with a background in probation, youth offending and substance misuse work. Having become a Practice Educator in 1998, she was Practice Learning Coordinator for a NW Local Authority from 2005-2009, when she moved to the School of Social Work, Care and Community at UClan as part of the Practice Learning Team. She is currently Senior Lecturer in Social Work and Work-based Learning Team Lead. Pam holds the Practice Teaching Award and is a Stage 2 Practice Educator. She has been on the Committee of the National Organisation for Practice Teaching since 2007.

Cathie Jasper is a registered social worker and has practised with children and families, mainly with young people leaving care. While working as a practitioner, Cathie gained the Child Care Award and the Practice Teaching Award and was a Practice Educator of social work students. Since leaving direct social work practice, Cathie has been involved in the training of others, as a training officer for a NW local authority, a voluntary organisation, and as a member of MMU's social work department since 2009. She is currently a Senior Lecturer in Social Work where she teaches qualifying and post-qualifying students.

Lesley Littler is a registered social worker with a professional background in the Probation Service, Youth Offending and Family Court Welfare. Lesley has been a Practice Educator since 1986 and, while working in professional practice, took on the role of Specialist Practice Educator demonstratng her longstanding commitment to the professional development of others. She holds the Practice Teaching Award and is currently a Stage 2 Practice Educator. Lesley has worked in Higher Education for over 17 years. She is currently an Academic Advisor at the University of Central Lancashire.

Table of Contents

Section Title Page Action Price
Cover Cover 1
Half-title i
Title page iii
Copyright information iv
Table of contents v
Meet the authors vi
Chapter 1 Introduction and overview 1
Structure of each chapter 2
Practice Education – where we are now 2
Social work reform and the PCF 3
Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) 5
How do these reforms and professional requirements affect PEs? 6
Update – the second edition –2016 7
1. The College of Social Work and the PCF 7
2. Accreditation and assessment of children and families social workers and their practice supervisors and leaders 8
3. A range of models for social work education 8
4. A new regulator for social work 9
Practice Education – how we got here 10
Practice Education – dancing on a moving carpet ... but the steps remain the same? 10
Chapter 2 Values and ethics 12
Chapter aims 12
Introduction 12
Frameworks of values and ethics for social workers: reform 15
Current frameworks for all social workers 16
The PCF (BASW, 2015a) 16
The Standards of Proficiency (SOPS) (HCPC) 16
Standards of conduct, performance and ethics (HCPC) 16
Additional framework 17
Additional frameworks for PEs and supervisors 17
Values for Practice Educators and supervisors (PEPS, BASW, 2013) 17
NOPT (National Organisation for Practice Teaching) Code of Practice (revised in 2013) 18
Educating about values 18
Recognising and managing the impact of values on the PE’s work with a student (Value 1 (PEPS)) 19
Assessing values – opportunities to demonstrate capability 20
Assisting a student in developing the appropriate skills base 21
Conclusion 22
Chapter 3 Preparation, planning and induction 24
Chapter aims 24
Introduction 24
Before meeting the student 25
Knowing the course, knowing your responsibilities 25
Understanding the roles and responsibilities of a PE 27
Preparation of self 28
Support 29
Education 30
Management 30
Preparation of workplace, colleagues and service users/carers 30
Moving from general preparation to preparation for working with a particular individual 32
The pre-placement meeting 33
The arrival of the student 33
The learning environment 34
Induction – the learning starts here 36
Involving the student 38
The Learning Agreement 38
The PE’s role and responsibilities in relation to Learning Agreements 39
First supervision session 40
Supervision Agreement 41
Effective working relationships 41
Conclusion 42
What does the research say? 42
The wider organisation 42
The learning environment 43
Chapter 4 Enabling learning 46
Chapter aims 46
Introduction 47
Key concepts underpinning learning 47
What influences learning? 47
Adult learning 48
The role of learning styles 49
How learning happens – the role of experiential learning 50
Enabling and teaching 52
What is the PE aiming to achieve and how can the PE facilitate and promote student learning? 52
Integration of practice and theory 52
Learning to learn 54
What teaching strategies can the PE use to facilitate student learning? 55
Approaches to learning 55
Giving feedback – good practice guidance 56
Some teaching and facilitating strategies 59
Helping students to use theory in practice 60
The Theory Circle 62
Stage 1 62
Stage 2 62
Stage 3 63
Ensuring an anti-oppressive and strengths-based approach 64
The MANDELA model 64
Structuring the student’s learning journey 66
The Practice Curriculum 70
The PE’s own development as an enabler 71
Conclusion 73
What does the research say? 73
Key messages highlighted in the research 74
Learning Code suggested for each type of learner 74
Reflector 74
Pragmatist 75
Theorist 75
Activist 76
Chapter 5 Supervision 78
Chapter aims 78
Introduction: the role of reflective supervision 79
A note on the definition of ‘supervision’ 80
‘Getting it right’: first steps 80
The Supervision Agreement 81
Functions of supervision 82
Management function 83
Support function 83
Professional and supervisory boundaries 84
‘Fears’ and barriers to effective support 84
Enhancing resilience 85
Education function 86
Models of supervision – newer developments 89
The Reflective Learning Model 90
The 4x4x4 Integrated Model of Supervision 91
The structure of supervision and skills, techniques and prompts that can be used 92
Structure of supervision throughout the placement 92
Beginning 93
Middle 93
End 93
Skills, techniques and prompts used in supervision 94
Power and authority in supervision 98
Supervision and the development of professional practice – for the Practice Educator 100
Conclusion 100
What does the research say? 101
Brodie and Williams study 101
Key messages highlighted in the research 101
Chapter 6 Assessment 104
Chapter aims 104
Introduction 105
Rationale for holistic assessment – background and context 105
Competence or capability? 106
Holistic assessment 107
Effective assessment 108
Purpose of assessment – why are you assessing? 108
Diagnostic, formative and summative assessment 108
The mid-point or interim review 110
The subject of assessment – what are you assessing? 110
Professional development prompt 111
Involving the student 111
The process and methods of assessment – how are you assessing? 112
Collecting evidence 112
The role of the off-site PE 113
Helping students understand a holistic approach to learning and assessment 114
Weighing evidence: achieving a fair and justifiable assessment decision 114
Fair assessment 114
Triangulation 115
Involvement of the service user/carer 116
Summary of core principles of assessment 118
Cognitive biases may occur in the following forms 118
Direct observation of practice 119
Assessing or marking academic work 120
Commenting on the student’s academic work 121
Writing the final report as part of a holistic assessment (link to ‘Critical question 1’) 121
Making your decision 122
Principles for writing a final report 122
Conclusion 123
What does the research say? 123
Key messages highlighted in the research 124
Chapter 7 Dealing with difficulties 126
Chapter aims 126
Introduction 127
The Practice Learning System: practice placements 127
What kind of placement difficulties may arise? 130
Common placement difficulties 131
Authority and power 132
Understanding the procedures to be followed when difficulties arise – what do I do? 133
Addressing placement concerns and difficulties 134
Suspension or termination of a placement 135
Making a ‘Fail’ recommendation 136
Defining the nature of the problem or difficulty 136
How to identify the nature of the placement difficulty 139
Action planning 139
Degrees of difficulty – what constitutes a difficulty or concern? 142
Barriers to learning 143
Good, satisfactory, marginal or failing? 144
Failing to fail students 145
Factors that may indicate a marginal or failing placement 147
Weighing up the evidence 149
Conclusion 150
What does the research say? 150
Furness and Gilligan research 151
Key messages highlighted in the research 151
Bartoli, Kennedy and Tedam research 152
Key messages highlighted in the research 152
Gender role expectations, finances and health 152
Homesickness, lack of practice experience and cultural diversity 153
Motivation to study and experience of individual and institutional racism 153
Chapter 8 Reflective practice: developing critical thinking and reflection 155
Chapter aims 155
Introduction 155
Reflective practice 156
Critical reflection 157
Reflexivity 157
Why is reflective practice important? 158
‘Because’ is not enough: working towards a shared understanding of why reflective practice is important 159
Making reflection central to the evidence of capability 160
How to promote reflective practice in students 161
Know your student 161
Tools for encouraging reflection 162
Making use of reflective logs 162
Other tools and strategies 163
Reflective questions 163
Models of ‘structured reflection’ 164
Frameworks which encourage transference of learning 164
Other methods of reflection 165
Involving service users in reflection 165
Conclusion 166
What does the research say? 166
Key messages highlighted in the research 166
Chapter 9 Continuing professional development for PEs 169
Chapter aims 169
Introduction 169
The changing landscape and the expectations on practitioners and PEs 170
The PCF 170
HCPC registration 171
Maintaining CPD 171
Preparing for your assessment at Stage 1 – meeting Domains A–C and considering the role of the direct observation of your pract 174
Preparing for your assessment at Stage 2 – meeting Domain D and considering your effective continuing performance as a PE 177
Conclusion 180
Appendix 1 Sample supervision agreement 181
Appendix 2 Honey and Mumford’s learning styles 183
Appendix 3 Roles and responsibilities of the off-site Practice Educator and Practice Supervisor 187
Expected tasks and roles of the Practice Supervisor 187
Expected tasks and roles of the off-site Practice Educator 188
Tasks to be undertaken by both Practice Supervisor and off-site Practice Educator 189
References 190
Index 199