University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Complexities in Student Placements Under COVID-19 Moral and Practical Considerations

Sarbu, Raluca and Unwin, Peter ORCID: (2021) Complexities in Student Placements Under COVID-19 Moral and Practical Considerations. Frontiers in Education, 6 (654843). ISSN 2504-284X

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The work placement experiences of MA and BA social work students at an English university during a pandemic were explored by way of an online survey. Thirteen students responded and reported that the moral and practical consequences of a sudden forced move to the “new normal” of online working and assessment raised serious issues about the boundary between home and work life, and about the relationship-based nature of the career they thought they were entering. Experiences of moral and practical support from agencies were mixed, and a lack of consistency across different placement agencies led to feelings of unfairness in the students’ experience. Opportunities for incidental and tacit forms of learning were lacking in online working environments and students were strong of the belief that the future of social work would entail a permanent locus shift from community work to online interaction regarding the people (service users and carers) with whom they worked. This shift was largely perceived in terms of loss and a further diminution in relationship-based practice in English social work services, which have increasingly been dominated by a task and performance management culture before the onset of COVID-19.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information:

This article was submitted to Educational Psychology, a section of the journal Frontiers in Education.

A pdf file of this article is available to download from this WRaP record.

Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: student placements, social work, moral complexity, work-life balance, student sport, "new normal", relationship based practice
Divisions: College of Health, Life and Environmental Sciences > School of Allied Health and Community
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Copyright Info: Open Access article
Depositing User: Raluca Sarbu
Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2021 11:09
Last Modified: 08 Jun 2021 11:09

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