‘It's been hell.’ Italian and British practice educators’ narratives of working with struggling or failing social work students in practice learning settings [E’ stato un inferno! Racconti di supervisori di toricinio che han lavorato con studenti problematici o che non hanno superato il tirocinio]

Finch, Jo and Poletti, Alberto (2014) ‘It's been hell.’ Italian and British practice educators’ narratives of working with struggling or failing social work students in practice learning settings [E’ stato un inferno! Racconti di supervisori di toricinio che han lavorato con studenti problematici o che non hanno superato il tirocinio]. European Journal of Social Work, 17 (1). pp. 135-150. ISSN Print ISSN: 1369-1457 ; Online ISSN: 1468-2664 Full text available

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Abstract/Book Review

Periods of assessed learning in practice settings are common requirements for social work students world wide. The ‘practice learning opportunity’ as it is known in the UK, and ‘tirocinio di servizio sociale’ as it is referred to in Italy, are important sites of gatekeeping in preventing unsuitable people from becoming social workers. The experience of assessing failing students in practice learning settings however, has been found to be particularly stressful and challenging for practice educators. This article documents findings from two qualitative studies that explored field educators’ experiences of working with struggling or failing social work students in Italy and England. The study finds both similarities and differences in the narratives of the assessors from the two countries Similarities include, unpleasant emotional experience of working with a failing student, internalisation of the students failing as the practice educators’ own failing, perceptions that the universities may hide negative information about students and lack of acknowledgement of the gatekeeping function inherent in the practice educator role. Differences include the level of emotionality experienced by educators, the way students are spoken about and the perceived role and responses of the university. Further comparative European research which focuses on practice education is indicated.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Assessment Framework
Subjects: Learning & Education > Curriculum
Social Welfare > Social Welfare Personnel
Social Welfare > Social Work
Department/People: Children, Young Adult and Family Services
Depositing User: Ms Linda Dolben
Date Deposited: 27 Apr 2017 16:22
Last Modified: 27 Apr 2017 16:22
URI: http://repository.tavistockandportman.ac.uk/id/eprint/1359

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