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Presentation on theme: " Dr Sara Ashencaen Crabtree & Professor Jonathan Parker School of Health & Social Care Bournemouth University West meets East: Learning."— Presentation transcript:

1 Dr Sara Ashencaen Crabtree & Professor Jonathan Parker School of Health & Social Care Bournemouth University West meets East: Learning and transition in social work placement education

2 2 Practice learning in social work at BU Practice learning across the 3 years Portfolio of evidence Emerging goals: Increasing international SW placements for cultural competence Enhancing mobility, transferrable skills, marketability Commensurate with internationalisation strategic goals of BU

3 3 Producing culturally competent social work practitioners – project background British Council PMI 2 Connect Grant & existing academic contacts created internationalisation opportunity Two participating universities: Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (East Malaysia). (Young institution; established SW programme) Malaysian placements educationally experimental and as part of a collaborative research process Universiti Sains Malaysia (Penang). APEX status, oldest established SW programme.

4 4 Producing culturally competent social work practitioners Students selected through rigorous interviews: motivation, knowledge of international social work/welfare, self-awareness, flexibility Ability to adapt and benefit from opportunity not easily assessed in interview situation Students involved in data gathering and learning through critical incident analysis, assignment and practice log

5 5 Features of the practice log Describing reactions to daily events and experiences on placement and in the cultural context Consider different ways of thinking about it Examine how the experience links with others – consider emotional, cognitive and belief factors Explore how the experience might be understood drawing on theoretical learning undertaken What has been learned from the situation? What has been identified that needs to learned, changed and developed? How might identified learning goals be achieved? Well-tried and tested pedagogical methods

6 6 Critical Incidents Critical incidents are reflections based on an analysis of a practice where the individual has taken some action and whatever he or she does has important consequences either for him or herself, the service user, others involved or all of the players. (Thomas, 2004, p. 104)

7 7 Reflections and beginning themes from 2009 cohort Relational/ interpersonal Friendliness Well-behaved and polite Discipline and corporal punishment Communication issues Expressing emotions cultural Developing sensitivity in students Importance of community Assumptions about service users, women, Muslim women, female students service Overcrowded care homes State vs NGO Perceptions of abuse (sharing beds) Service user involvement Professionalism vs loose approach/ real social work Lack of service planning Different value systems for care High level skills

8 8 Supporting practice learning through supervision Increased from 20 to 25 day placement Malaysian academic group supervision Malaysian agency daily supervision Retaining continuity through use of practice educators in UK BU multimedia tutor support Selling benefits of international placements Selling concept of distance learning in UK

9 9 Young adults with learning disabilities, 2009

10 10 Sarawak Mental Health Association, 2009

11 11 Analysis of data, 1 st cohort 2009

12 12 Preliminary research findings, 2009 Early analysis of data indicate student culture shock: incongruence between Westernised social work values/practice and those practised in Malaysia Uncertainties re whether to challenge professional conduct contradicting UK professional codes of practice Analysis showed levels of deep learning = ability to link theory to practice, open to cultural nuance And shallow learning = superficial comparison, taking refuge in known truths and values

13 13 Preliminary research findings Students used their outsider experiences to develop: insights into the dehumanising aspects of social care processes for service users in the UK a more critical perspective of each society in terms of welfare, social, educational, employment opportunities and citizen rights and responsibilities.

14 14 Placements theorised through concept of liminality Van Gennep/Turner: rites of passage. Agents first stripped of social status and introduced into a liminal (in-between) state before emerging transformed into a new status. Betwixt status, confusion & transition evidenced in many students international experiences. Liminality goal - end of the placement to emerge nearer to social work status, and culturally sensitive and aware.

15 15 Second year analysis – two cohorts

16 16 Liminality & professional expectations We were told that the House of Hope was a safe place for the children. I asked how these children were safeguarded and the answer was we love them. To me this was a real culture shock…. My values were being questioned. I felt in a moral dilemma. I can understand that the agency cannot help every child due to lack of resources, staff and time but is it fair to favour a more academically able child over another? We actually went into the jungle and swam in a river with a very hot spring. I was concerned though that the children are not risk assessed. Is this ok? Several of the [cerebral palsy service users] were chained to the wall and windows with plastic chains or cloth, which was either tied to their wrists, feet or around their torso. So far as I could see all the service users were wearing diapers even those who were capable of walking. The work place where we would be working for the next two weeks astounded me; it is an amazing set up and works really well. The way that the service users get promoted and in turn teaches the other amazed me. It is such an efficient method and the young adults loved it.

17 17 Liminality & cultural & ethnic differences The (Salvation Army) Major is considered to be the childrens mother and the staff are referred to as aunties and uncles!! One of the children asked me if I was their aunty and I immediately stated that I was not…In the UK this terminology would be frowned upon and I think would possibly raise some questions. It became apparent that these children were only admitted [to a Home] because they came from a single parent family and their mother could not afford to keep them. This seems bizarre!!...Why doesnt the government do something to help single mothers… For them life is just about taking drugs. They hardly eat and use all their money to buy drugs. For many of them this is a lifestyle they have chosen because they could be earning up to 100 MYR (about £25) per day, which is more than what people earn as a receptionist or clerk in the office. Educational attainment is high as it is one thing that most seem to aspire to. People seem to be judged not on class but on whether they are a B.A., M.A. or Phd, and what work they do. I was very much a minority group but …did not feel discriminated against. People appeared interested by our presence, I hoped that this was not because I was from a developed country and they saw me as an oppressive figure.

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19 19 Liminality: beliefs/values/identity - personal dislocations The children already have tuition several times a week after school and my personal feelings are that they already have enough learning. I feel quality time with them such as nail painting, games and just talking would be far more beneficial for them …questioning Christianity; my own faith. I would not dream of challenging this but it is worrying that Christianity is being used in this way and [the agency] appears to be more of a cult – although I cannot prove this. And I must remember that I must not be judgemental as I am not here to be so. I have also been questioning whether impressing the English language on these children actually is the right thing to do. I have realised that within myself I have accepted my own culture a lot more. Since I can remember I have always rejected the Indian side of me, but it was here that I learnt to relish in the fact that I am half Indian and it is something I should be proud of.

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21 21 Comparisons and challenging ethnocentrism: globally competent citizens? Diversity of challenging cultural experiences Questioning of assumptions and received ideas Potential for examining risk and risk-taking

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