Presentation on theme: "Teaching, Learning and Assessing Communication Skills With Children and Young People in Social Work Education Scie KR 12 Key Findings and Implications."— Presentation transcript:
Teaching, Learning and Assessing Communication Skills With Children and Young People in Social Work Education Scie KR 12 Key Findings and Implications Michelle Lefevre, Barry Luckock and Karen Tanner University of Sussex and Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust
The Knowledge Review - Research Questions What is known about.... the way communication skills with CYP are thought about and applied in social work practice, and about the effectiveness of this aspect of practice? (i.e. what should be taught) the way social work educators think about, teach and assess communication skills with CYP and about the effectiveness of this aspect of qualifying social work education? (i.e. how it should be taught) the way educators in allied professions think about, teach and assess communication skills with CYP (i.e. what can we learn from others)
Definitions ‘Communication’ in social work involves a two-way process of sharing factual information, thoughts and feelings, directly or indirectly and in various ways, with the aim of building common understanding and enabling appropriate action to be undertaken We mainly looked at direct face-to-face communication between child and SW. NB almost no research on the use of interactive media in SW using distinctions made by the children/ professionals we consulted, we defined skill as including personal capacity/capability and ethical commitment by students (being) as well as the exercise of acquired techniques and approaches (doing). Underpinning knowledge?
NB. K ey findings of the RR of SWP Technical and micro-skills in…. Keeping CYP informed Child-centred communication Play, symbolic, creative, non-verbal and expressive techniques Going at the child’s pace Listening to direct & indirect communication Interviewing Using tools (e.g. ecomaps, rating scales, assessment schedules, life-story books)
NB Key finding from the RR of SWP Skilled communication is not just a matter of technical or micro-skills but draws upon underpinning… Knowledge E.g. child development, inheritance, experience, context, methods/models Emotional and personal capacity Warmth, humour, playful, working with feelings Values and ethical commitments AOP, rights perspective, confidentiality, child- centredness So not just ‘doing’ but also ‘being’ and ‘knowing’
Methods systematic research review in two parts: review of evidence on communication skills in social work (CSSW) with CYP review of evidence on teaching and assessing CSSW with CYP practice survey in two parts: primary survey of SW programmes of teaching and assessing CSSW with CYP secondary survey of allied professional education
Results: Practice Survey Teaching and assessing CSSW with CYP opportunistic sampling of 73 HEIs offering 63 UG and 31 PG programmes (NB no data from NI) Research Questions for Practice Survey How do social work educators think about, teach and assess communication skills with children? What is the current state of knowledge about the effectiveness of this aspect of qualifying social work education?
Key Findings of Practice Survey (1) The location, integration and development of CSSW with CYP in the curriculum No coherent model has yet emerged. In almost every case the teaching and assessment of CSSW with CYP was embedded in other modules focusing on either generic communication skills or on social work practice. In respect of a generic experience, no programme could guarantee that a student would have the chance to practice direct communication with children despite the significant increase in days available for practice learning.
Key Findings of Practice Survey (2) The aims and objectives of teaching There are differing assumptions by social work educators about the aims and objectives of teaching communication skills. Two broad distinctions: (consistent with research review) Skill acquisition - taking a task-centred approach to acquiring technical or micro-skills (‘doing’). A capacity-building approach - concentrated on the communicative capacity of the student underpinning the performance of any specified skill (‘being’)
Key Findings of Practice Survey (3) What is taught and how In both UG and PG courses personal capabilities or capacities required for effective communication are more likely to be taught or expected to be taught than technical or micro-skills Module aims and objectives appear to enable the learning of specific skills in the latter part of programmes to be built upon a foundation of core skills earlier on. But this is not consistently the case. Direct teaching or instruction, underpinned or supported by interactive experiential methods, is the most common approach. Children involved opportunistically rather than strategically in teaching and assessment. No clear evidence on the effectiveness of their involvement.
Key Findings of Practice Survey (4) The likelihood that CSSW with CYP will be directly assessed If skilled communication with CYP is directly assessed at all in college this tends to be arranged opportunistically The general absence of assessment of direct skills in communication with CYP in college does not appear to be remedied by specific arrangements or requirements in placement, even where that placement is in children’s services. In no cases did respondents report that agreements or contracts specified that students would be explicitly assessed in direct practice and communication with children.
Conclusions of the Practice Survey There is no guarantee of achieving the espoused aims of programmes that students will learn elements of core communicative capacity with children early in their training and that communication in the context of more specific and applied practice settings will be taught later that arrangements for assessment consolidate the episodic and fortuitous nature of learning communication with children that these aims, aspects and methods of teaching and assessment are in any case contested
Results: Research Review 218 SW practice citations (123: empirical findings). 52 SW education (31: empirical) ‘communication’ an implicit and/or contested concept so no coherent body of research relating to CSSW with CYP. But we could begin to identify set of core conditions and key skills few reports of teaching and assessment methods. But we could identify contrasting perspectives on what counts as capability and skill and some indications of how they might be best taught
Key Findings of the Research Review of Social Work Education (RR of SWE) The research picture is informed by contrasting perspectives about the communicative task in SW with children and young people and about the nature of childhood developmental accounts and a therapeutic/reparative aspiration. SW communication based in ‘containment’ human rights approaches and an emphasis on participation and citizenship. SW communication based in ‘empowerment’
Key Findings of the RR of SWE (2) Acquiring skills research focuses on the enhancement of personal capability as well as the acquisition of performative skill skill acquisition interactive/experiential methods reported, especially role play systematic social skills training in simulated scenarios can facilitate understanding of core (counselling) skills but follow-up needed, especially through critical self-reflection during training and professional supervision of personal experience in practice
Key Findings of the RR of SWE (3) Personal capability two perspectives on capability: a psychosocial stance: concerned with the emotional and developmental underpinning of a communicative and reflective self- capacity. Extended child observation and experiential learning in daily living advised. an ‘empowerment’ stance: preparing students as active participants learning to exemplify empowerment, models anti- oppressive practice. Problem-based groupwork indicated. continuing commitment to modelling as the context for learning critical reflection universally valued and experiential methods generally favoured but no agreement on exactly what kind of capability and skill should be modelled, learnt and reflected upon and little evidence about how learning is transferred into practice
Key Findings of the RR of SWE (4) The psychosocial approach to developing personal capability evidence that observation task helps in development of skill of being observant and that seminar discussion and notes/papers enhance capacity to reflect on internal as well as external world of children specifically helpful in learning about child experience in the context of difference and stereotyping but no independent evidence of the effectiveness of the daily living model in residential care
Key Findings of the RR of SWE (5) The ‘empowerment approach to developing personal capability very few reports therefore no substantive evidence of effectiveness one report of overwhelming student enthusiasm in one case but no follow up in practice
Four questions for today What do we think counts as skilled communication in contemporary social work? Should we seek to link the development of personal capability/commitment for effective engagement with Children and Young People with acquiring appropriate performative skill? What would a 'fit for purpose' curriculum look like (bearing in mind workforce developments in children's services)? Which teaching/assessment methods are the most effective?