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The Place of Research in Social Work Education

Karen Lyons
The British Journal of Social Work
Vol. 30, No. 4 (AUGUST 2000), pp. 433-447
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23716146
Page Count: 15
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The Place of Research in Social Work Education
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Abstract

This paper argues for a stronger emphasis on research in social work education and the recognition of a triangular and dynamic relationship between social work research, education and practice. The focus here is on the particular relationship between the first two of this triad. The paper locates the discussion in an examination of the literature on the nature of knowledge and ideas about professional education, and proceeds to a consideration of the place of research in disciplinary development. This includes a brief mention of changing paradigms reflected in social work research in the past century. Empirical data from research carried out in the mid-1990s is used to illustrate the place of research in social work education currently, and to support the argument that social work educators have responsibility for knowledge creation (through research), as well as using research in their teaching, and in devising curricula which develop knowledge about and skills in research among social workers at different stages of training. Developing the research and knowledge base is seen as an essential role for social work academics, in the face of uncertainties about future directions for professional training and the complexity of the task for which social workers are being educated.

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