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National Symposium 2015 - A structured approach to helping students integrate theory into practice in first and second placements

Event Details
Venue: Online
CPD hrs: 27 minutes

AASW member: $10

Non member: $20

Organiser: AASW National

This is a recording of one of the concurrent workshops from the AASW National Symposium in November 2015. The workshop was presented by Patricia Muncey with the theme "A structured approach to helping students integrate theory into practice in first and second placements". The approach focuses on helping students integrate one theory with practice for their first placement and to develop and articulate a practice framework in their second placement. The approach is designed to be scaffolded with a clear increase in complexity between the first and second placements. Practice experience indicates that the application of theory with practice for social work students
on placement can cause confusion, anxiety and vagueness. Clapton et al (2008) found that the division between theory and practice becomes apparent when social work students go into the field and need to apply what they have learned in university. Complicating this learning is an increasing number of placements where there are no on-site social workers who could help students bridge this gap. This presentation will review a structured approach to integrate theory with practice used as part of a UniSA fi eld education portfolio in the first placement. It is argued that key points for successfully integrating theory with practice are relevance of theory to the client group, a clear understanding of the principles of the theory, how these principles affect practice, recognition of which parts of the theory are not being used, limitations and advantages of the theory, skills needed to implement the theory in the agency and evaluation of the application of the theory. The difference in learning needs between first and second placement students is also examined. The structured approach for second placement is being trialled in semester 2, 2105 and this method and outcomes to date will be discussed.

Learning objectives:

  • To review a model for assisting for placement students learn how to integrate theory with practice in a structured manner;
  • To review the additional requirements for students in a second placement to develop an integrated practice framework;
  • For second placement students to be able to address Practice Standard 4.4 Understand and articulate how and when theories, knowledge bases and knowledge sources inform practice;
  • Develops and articulates a practice framework that draws on contemporary theory, knowledge, methods and professional values;
  • Appropriately and critically identifies and describes the model or approach used in practice and its theoretical and conceptual underpinnings;
  • Identifies, describes, appraises and applies current research evidence, methodology and approaches to practice area;
  • Understands the principles, framework and relevant legislation of the practice area, and selects practice approach accordingly.

Presenter details

Ms Patricia Muncey is the Director of Field Education at the University of South Australia.

Recording Details

This recording was filmed in November 2015

Duration: 27 minutes


AASW member: $10

Non member: $20ASW.


Register for access by following the link to the right. Upon registering, you will receive a confirmation email - please read this email carefully, as it provides your access to the online course.

AASW - Australian Association of Social Workers