Interest in the reflective practitioner as a model of a 'good professional' has increased in several professional fields and is also valued within social work education as a key aspiration to address the uncertainties and challenges encountered in contemporary working environments. Reflecting on their own professional identity, as well as theories, values, and devices used in professional practice, can help practitioners deal with complex work demands and help students be better equipped to transition from university to work. Work-integrated learning (WIL) provides students with an opportunity to integrate academic learning with 'real-world' experiences to develop both valuable self-monitoring and professional self-constructive ability. This paper presents a case study in social work higher education in which WIL class-based teaching was combined with the use of reflective journals to explore the role of WIL in developing reflective practices for professional identity formation. 21 reflective journals by social work students are analysed. The findings suggest that teaching practices based on WIL enable professional identity formation by developing reflective practices, and that different learning conditions sustain specific dimensions of professional identity, i.e. professional expertise, membership to a professional community and sense of professional self.

'What shall I pack in my suitcase?': the role of work-integrated learning in sustaining social work students' professional identity

BRUNO, ANDREINA;
2018

Abstract

Interest in the reflective practitioner as a model of a 'good professional' has increased in several professional fields and is also valued within social work education as a key aspiration to address the uncertainties and challenges encountered in contemporary working environments. Reflecting on their own professional identity, as well as theories, values, and devices used in professional practice, can help practitioners deal with complex work demands and help students be better equipped to transition from university to work. Work-integrated learning (WIL) provides students with an opportunity to integrate academic learning with 'real-world' experiences to develop both valuable self-monitoring and professional self-constructive ability. This paper presents a case study in social work higher education in which WIL class-based teaching was combined with the use of reflective journals to explore the role of WIL in developing reflective practices for professional identity formation. 21 reflective journals by social work students are analysed. The findings suggest that teaching practices based on WIL enable professional identity formation by developing reflective practices, and that different learning conditions sustain specific dimensions of professional identity, i.e. professional expertise, membership to a professional community and sense of professional self.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11567/879702
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