Integrating Practice Research into Social Work Field Education in Canada

Sheri M. McConnell, Melissa Noble, Jill Hanley, Vanessa Finley-Roy & Julie Drolet (2023, janvier)

Journal of Teaching in Social Work

Vol.43/ Issue 1 | 19 p.

Given the increasing value placed on research among social work practitioners, and that field education is primarily responsible for the integration of social work values, knowledge, and practice, it is essential that research skills be incorporated into BSW and MSW field practica. In 2020, a team of faculty co-investigators and students explored the integration of research activities into Canadian BSW and MSW field practica through the review of online field education materials of all accredited programs. We make the argument that not only is it essential for professional social workers to receive training in practice research, but also that there is much room for us to integrate such research into field education. We begin with a review of the literature regarding social work student attitudes toward research, widely known to be hesitant and even hostile, before discussing the limited international literature (English and French) on the experience of integrating research into field education. After describing our methods, we then present our findings in terms of BSW and MSW programs at Canada’s anglophone and francophone universities. We conclude with a discussion of the implications in terms of ways to increase the role of research in field practica.