Knowledge building for practice: Resilience in social work student engagement

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This paper provides an exploration of building resilience for social work through the design and delivery of first-year university curriculum. Social workers involved in social justice/social change contexts require a high degree of resilience and ingenuity in being able to adapt to the profession’s complexities. This is not a definitional or scientific undertaking, but rather a response to both fragility and creativity of human endeavour. In many social work programs there are subject choices that mean little to the incoming student. A first-year enrolment pattern could include a first-level communication subject alongside a second or third-level cross-cultural counselling one. The skills required for such engagement are multi-layered, and similar to a process the authors identify as simultaneous cross-adjustment in ‘bouncing back’ from adversity. They argue that building knowledge and resilience from first-year ‘vulnerability’ in the foundation year will foster relevant coping mechanisms despite initial misgivings from both students and educators.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Innovation, Creativity and Change
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014


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