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Taking the next step – service users and the training

  • Verner Denvall
  • Cecilia Heule
  • Arne Kristiansen
Publiceringsår: 2007
Språk: Engelska
Dokumenttyp: Konferensbidrag

Abstract english

During the last decades, many new ideas about the proper ways to educate social workers

have been brought up by the profession and the social work research as well as by employers

and educational institutions. Lately though, a new voice has been heard – that of the client and

the service user. “We want to contribute to the education, we have a lot to teach the students”

they say. Social work education in the UK is now obliged to engage service users as coteachers.

The authors of this paper support this voice and claim that it is time to leave the competency

model behind (feed the student with as much knowledge as possible) for an advanced training

of professionals based on critical reflection and the sharing of everyday life with the people

who are to become the students’ future clients. However, this takes more than simply

engaging clients as speakers. In this paper, we report from an experimental course at the

School of Social Work in Lund, Sweden and argue that this course gives a possibility to move

along the road towards widened diversity and integration by challenging the traditional

academic base of the education. However, this course also gives the education the chance to

play an active role in shaping the society on a broader base rather than simply bringing up

new social workers.

This paper is divided into four sections. We start by focusing on discourses and problems

within social work as a profession and its education. Then we report about initiatives that

currently are being taken to put users’ involvement in the education of social workers on the

agenda. Thirdly, we inform about an experimental course that we run and especially

concentrate on the pedagogy that is used. Lastly, we make implications for the future.


  • Social Work


Social change and social professions
2007-03-15 - 2007-03-17
Parma, Italy
Verner Denvall
E-post: verner [dot] denvall [at] soch [dot] lu [dot] se



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