Extending the use of student units for both professional education and community solutions

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Abstract

In this paper we discuss a change from following a conservative model of 'one-student-to-one-agency' tradition to the innovative use of social work student units in meeting the practical field education requirements of the Bachelor of Social Work program at Charles Sturt University (CSU), Wagga Wagga, Australia. In a rural setting where placement opportunities are shrinking, these units are also pragmatic solutions for communities as well as exciting and demanding learning environments for the students. In 2004 we set up a four-student unit to work with local shire councils to produce mandatory social plans on behalf of rural communities. In 2005 a new unit of eight students began the task of researching issues around aged care needs, models and facilities in the region. In both cases the students were immersed in experiencing community development work at the grassroots level, with the design and implementation of the units reflecting similar practice espoused in effective community development models. For example, the students were supported in a triad supervision arrangement that included the regional organisation of councils in auspicing the field education opportunities and setting the research focus for the placement period, individual councils providing on-site field supervision, and CSU staff participating in field teaching and liaison roles.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationToward excellence in PEPE
Subtitle of host publicationa collaborative endeavour
Place of PublicationAuckland, New Zealand
PublisherFaculty of Education, The University of Auckland
Pages204
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2006
EventBiennial Conference of the Association of Practical Experiences in Professional Education (PEPE) - Auckland, new Zealand, New Zealand
Duration: 01 Feb 200603 Feb 2006

Conference

ConferenceBiennial Conference of the Association of Practical Experiences in Professional Education (PEPE)
CountryNew Zealand
Period01/02/0603/02/06

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    Bowles, W., & Mlcek, S. (2006). Extending the use of student units for both professional education and community solutions. In Toward excellence in PEPE: a collaborative endeavour (pp. 204). Faculty of Education, The University of Auckland.