DEPLOYMENT OF SOCIAL WORKERS IN AN EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT. RESEARCH ON THE SKILLS OF THE SOCIAL WORKER AS A PARTNER IN SUPERVISION INTERVENTIONS OF THE EDUCATIONAL TEAM IN PRIMARY SCHOOLS IN GHENT
University College Ghent (BELGIUM)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2010 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Conference name: 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 15-17 November, 2010
Location: Madrid, Spain
Ever since the ’70 it is assumed that learning difficulties are partly caused by the social-societal context. Therefore, teachers are confronted with rapidly changing function requirements. An integrated offer in the framework of learning support includes the function of bridge figures. To this day, this function is not necessarily filled in by people that satisfy specific educational requirements. In literature it is stated that the role of a bridge figure is frequently filled in by social workers.
In the framework of the research in hand, teachers, parents and pupils in primary schools in Ghent – where bridge figures are active –will be interviewed on caring demands and interventions. In addition, focus groups will be installed with care teams, and depth interviews will be administered by bridge figures.
2. Research questions and aims
This research aims at confronting the skills required in the job profile of bridge figures with work field practice, in order to formulate recommendations for the course in social work.
Question 1: With which questions concerning learning support and care for wellbeing are primary schools confronted?
Question 2 : Which are the described and real tasks and interventions, and the skills of a bridge figure within the context of the learning support team?
Question 3 : What skills should be included in the study programme in social work in order to enable possible future employment as a bridge figure?
The above questions will be addressed by carefully examining existing job descriptions , profiles and literature, and by means of an analysis of supervision demands and interventions in practice. In this way those skills that could be part of the educational profile of a bachelor in social work will be identified. The research project consists of 6 different work packages, that influence each other mutually. We’ve chosen a research design consisting of work packages to stress the iterative-parallel research progression (Verschuren, 2003). This requires that the different phases of the research are not completely separated, but produce (partly) parallel consequences and that the research progression is not linear. Ongoing analysis and re-analysis is required. Assumptions, questions and conclusions gathered during the research project, can be adjusted on the basis of new information. The results of various surveys will always be confronted with the results of literature study. The work packages are:
- literature study;
- registration research with parents, pupils and teachers (research question 1)
- qualitative research by means of depth interviews with bridge figures (research question 2) ;
- meetings steering committee and reflection committee ;
- report: composition of partial reports and final report (research question 3)
- valorisation : initiatives.
Keywords: Social work, 'bridge figures', education, supervision, educational team, learning difficulties, learning support, care for wellbeing, registration research, qua.