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Key Situations in Social Work Model: Professional Reflection and Knowledge Management. Adi Stämpfli , Msc , Lecturer in Social Work, Goldsmiths, University of London. Professional Reflection is a key capability in social work. Critical Reflection & Analysis:

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Key Situations in Social Work Model: Professional Reflection and Knowledge Management


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    1. Key Situations in Social Work Model: Professional Reflection and Knowledge Management AdiStämpfli, Msc, Lecturer in Social Work, Goldsmiths, University of London

    2. Professional Reflection is a key capability in social work Critical Reflection & Analysis: “Social workers are knowledgeable about and apply the principles of critical thinking and reasoned discernment. They identify, distinguish, evaluate and integrate multiple sources of knowledge and evidence. These include practice evidence, their own practice experience, service user and carer experience together with research-based, organisational, policy and legal knowledge. They use critical thinking augmented by creativity and curiosity.” The College of Social Work, Professional Capabilities Framework

    3. Reflection enables the linking of theory and practice “Relationierung” Although reflective practice has become a key paradigm in social work, the ideas and practices associated with its application are not well defined operationally. (Wilson, 2011; D'Cruz et al., 2007). • Reflection models are lacking clear processes of how knowledge, values and practice can be related

    4. Our Vision is ... …. to build a platform and a network for students, professionals organisations and academics in social work, which aims to support reflection and discourse on situations and to support continuous professional development of social work practice. http://it-runde.de/5609/gastartikel-soziale-netzwerke-gehoren-zu-unserem-leben

    5. Model: Key Situation in Social Work … • developedattheUniversity of Applied Sciences and Arts, Northwestern Switzerland for social work education • offers a theoreticaland a learning(individual and organisational) perspectiveon how to relate knowledge, practice and values • can be applied inandacrossorganisationssuch as universities and practice organisations • focuses i.a. on reflectionand discoursein communitiesofpractice(CoPs) (Wenger, 1998) • is currently being developedfurther(platform and CoPs) as part of a funded 20 month project

    6. Definition of „Key Situation“ • Key Situations in social work are situations which professionals describe as important and reoccurring and which they need to be able to manage in their professional practice. • Although every professional situation is unique, there are essential generalisablefeatures. • The number of such situations, as the situations themselves are flexible and change over time in response to changing social conditions. • From the practitioners' perspective situations are experienced as an uninterrupted course of action and as a symbolically structured context of meaning.

    7. The most influential theoretical underpinnings of the model • Illeris (2009): Comprehensive understanding of learning • Jarvis (2009): Learning to be a person in society • Lave & Wenger (1991): Situated Learning • Wenger (1998): Communities of Practice • Dreyfus & Dreyfus (1987): Novice-Expert Model • Schön (1983): Reflective Practitioner: Reflection in Action, on Action and on Reflection in Action • Dewe (2012): Theory-Praxis "Relationierung"

    8. Theoretical Premises Socio-Constructivist view: knowledge construction in the human brain through assimilative and accommodative learning in a process of socio-cultural negotiation of meaning  The best transfer of knowledge resources to new situations is possible when knowledge has been acquired in a self-directed problem solving or problem based (social) process.

    9. What I will talk about • Professional reflection: Working with Key Situations • Dialogue about professional practice: The Key Situations Discourse Model • Knowledge management in social work: online platform and communities of practice

    10. Describe a situation of your practice. Split the situation into sequences and re-enact each sequence in role play. Following this describe the emotion of the social worker and the service user and the thinking (reflection-in-action) of the social worker. Choose a heading (from the collection) Determine typical characteristics of the situation Working with key situations:a step by step reflection process Professional Reflection 10

    11. Research resources (theories, research, experiential knowledge, skills, organisational, material and time resources) Define quality standards Reflect on the situation using the quality standards and Develop alternative courses of action Professional Reflection Working with key situations:a step by step reflection process 11

    12. Conclusion 1: Knowledge, Practice and Values are integrated in reflections Professional Reflection Social work science Scientific knowledge of social problems Scientific knowledge of interventions Ethical knowledge Social work profession Experiential knowledge Organisational and contextual knowledge Skills

    13. Professional Reflection Conclusion 2: Continuous Professional Development of Capability Person Knowledge, Skills, Dispositions, Values  individual Situation 1 Situation 3 Situation 4 Situation 5 Situation 2 Professionalism prof. Competence prof. Identity in Communities of Practice Reflection Negotiation of Meaning Performance Action Environment Knowledge, Norms, Values, Context, Resources  social

    14. Outcomes of Reflections are seldom documented .... documenting knowledge Social work science Scientific knowledge of social problems Scientific knowledge of interventions Ethical knowledge Social work profession Experiential knowledge Organisational and contextual knowledge Skills

    15. documenting knowledge Online Plattform todocumentsituationsas „boundaryobjects“ • The co-constructed reflections are documented on an online platform and are thus made accessible to others. • The Key Situation Model makes use of a Wiki (akin to Wikipedia) where all 8 elements of a situation are documented.  Key Situations can thus be used as boundary objects: “When artefacts are seen as mediating tools rather than reified knowledge, we come to recognise that much of our knowledge lies in the discussions we have around mediating artefacts rather than in the artefacts themselves. This then creates opportunities for the re-creation of the original artefact.” (Eraut, 2013, p. 217)

    16. documenting knowledge Online Learning and Teaching OLAT

    17. Conclusion 3: Documentation makes situated knowledge accessible documenting knowledge Social work science Scientific knowledge of social problems Scientific knowledge of interventions Ethical knowledge Social work profession Experiential knowledge Organisational and contextual knowledge Skills

    18. Platform enables discourse on documented practice and knowledge discourse “Social work researchers (...) argue that IT should be designed to support the knowledge-sharing process rather than simply supporting the mechanical process of information (...)”. (Jang, 2012, p. 6) • The platform based on situations constitutes an innovative tool and can be used by the professional and scientific community to access its situated knowledge. However, knowledge is situated: bound by context and people and is fluid, flexible and open to interpretation and change. • Therefore, discourse aims to develop the quality of the practice, knowledge and values documented in a key situation.

    19. discourse Online Learning and Teaching OLAT

    20. Project #Key Situations discourse • Currently we are developing the platform as part of a funded research and development project to make it more user friendly and open it up to professionals and academics. • We are planning to establish around 15 CoPs consisting of practitioners and academics who will look after a range of key situations in which they have expertise (Quality Assurance) • We are testing different ways to access situations. • The projects runs from February 2014 to September 2015. The core team consists of three academics and an E-Learning specialist.

    21. discourse Key Situation Network: Members • Students and qualified practitioners from practice and academia can become members of the network. They can get access through the platform. • Collaboration in a thematic CoP is open to all members who have an interest in the domain of the CoP, in virtual forms of cooperation and who may wish to broaden their existing networks across boundaries of academia and practice. • Our network is currently being established. We have practitioners, lecturers and students in Switzerland and Germany who are already using the model and the platform.

    22. discourse Conclusion 4: Discourse enhances professional development • In addition to reflection and documentation it is essential that the professional and scientific communities engage in a discourse on (situated) knowledge and practice to foster the development of shared understandings and to further develop hybrid forms of professional knowledge. • Key Situation network members can make connections, communicate and meet in (virtual) rooms through the platform.

    23. Innovative, situation-based knowledge structure knowledge management • The underlying premise of the model is that every profession can be described by its typical, reoccurring situations. • A project team consisting of social work practitioners and lecturers applied a modified “developing a curriculum” methodology (DACUM) (Norton & Moser, 2008). They analysed the fields of social work and social pedagogy in Switzerland and produced a collection of professional key situations. • The resulting 130 situations describe the typical activities that social workers need to be able to manage. • The term key situation was chosen in reference to key competency and key role.

    24. Knowledge Management in Social Work: Evidence Based Practice knowledge management • Knowledge management traditionally focuses on the publication of research, theories and reports into specific areas of practice (Jang, 2012). The problem of accessing this knowledge is a challenge. • Publication alone, even when suitable access is provided, does not lead to its use in practice (Gray et al. 2009). • Evidence based practice has its limitations and as a way forward D’Cruz et al. (2009, p. 82) suggest a (....) approach that allows engagement “with a material reality, while also recognising the multiple (and relative) meanings possible for these material realities”.

    25. Intuitive, associative access to knowledge knowledge management • Knowledge is memorised in situated connections and cannot be transferred easily to new contexts or situations. However, situated knowledge allows associations but needs to be adapted to new situations. • Through association, practitioners can easily identify relevant key situations with the aid of the title. The platform supports search function and multiple access routes. • These can then be used in reflection processes to refresh knowledge, to discuss in supervision, to comment on, to form the basis for a reflection process in a CoP or in a team, .....

    26. Conclusion 5: Effective Knowledge Management knowledge management • Effective knowledge management relies on publication of knowledge and its use in professional reflection and discourse. • Situations offer an ideal way to structure knowledge. Situation can easily be identified in associative, intuitive ways and can than be used for reflection and discourse. • Situated knowledge is more easily transferrable through association and adaptation to new situations.

    27. Benefits of the Key Situation in Social Work Model • The reflection process enables professionals to relate knowledge to (their own) practice and to focus on quality. • The model, its platform and the contributions of the network's members make diverse forms of knowledge visible, tangible, accessible, understandable and transferrable. Because knowledge is linked to specific situations it becomes alive and relevant. • Knowledge can thus be shared and exchanged, which • Enables a discourse, a joint negotiation of its meaning in relation to professional practice situations in social work and fosters coproduction of new professional knowledge.

    28. Application of the model Can youenvisageways in whichthis model couldcontributetoyour professional development, yourreflectionandyourpractice?

    29. Application of the model • The model and the platform are currently used in pre- and post qualifying social work education. We envisage that it could be used .... • in organisations to improve the quality of their practice (knowledge management, professional reflection, prof. development, induction). • by Practice Educators to support students’ reflections & learning. • by Researchers to support transfer of their (new) knowledge. • by Lecturers to refer to practice situations. Overall the network and the platform help to bridge the gap between academia and practice, between theory and action.

    30. Interested?  www.schluesselsituationen.ch (German)  Staempfli, Adi; Kunz, Regula & Tov, Eva (2012). Creating a bridge between theory and practice: working with key situations. European Journal of Social Education, 22/23, p. 60-78.  Tov, Eva; Kunz, Regula & Stämpfli, Adi, (2013) Schlüsselsituationen der Sozialen Arbeit. Professionalität durch Wissen, Reflexion und Diskurs in Communities of Practice. Bern: hep  a.staempfli@gold.ac.uk

    31. Thank you for your attention! AdiStämpfli, Msc, Lecturer in Social Work, Goldsmiths, University of London

    32. References D'Cruz, Heather; Gillingham, Philip & Melendez, Sebastian (2007) Reflexivity, its Meanings and Relevance for Social Work: A Critical Review of the Literature, British Journal of Social Work, (37), 73-90. Dewe, Bernd (2012): Akademische Ausbildung in der Sozialen Arbeit – Vermittlung von Theorie und Praxis oder Relationierung von Wissen und Können im Spektrum von Wissenschaft, Organisation und Profession. In: Becker-Lenz, Roland/Busse, Stefan/Ehlert, Gudrun/Müller-Herman, Silke (Hrsg.): Professionalität Sozialer Arbeit und Hochschule. Wissen, Kompetenz, Habitus und Identität im Studium Sozialer Arbeit. Wiesbaden: Springer VS, 111–128. Dreyfus, Hubert L./Dreyfus, Stuart E. (1987): Künstliche Intelligenz. Reinbek bei Hamburg: Rowohlt. Eraut, Michael (2013) Developing Complex Performance Through Learning Trajectories and Re-creating Mediating Artefacts. In: Deitmer, Ludger; Hauschildt, Ursel; Rauner, Felix & Zelloth, Helmut The Architecture of Innovative Apprenticeship. Technical and Vocational Education and Training: Issues, Concerns and Prospects Volume 18, pp 207-218 Gray, Mel; Plath, Debbie & Webb, Stephen A. (2009) Evidence-Based Social Work. A Critical Stance. London and New York: Routledge. Illeris, Knud (2009). Contemporary theories of learning. Learning theorists ... in their own words. Oxon: Routledge.

    33. References Jang, Kyeonghee (2012) An Understanding of Optimal Knowledge Management for Social Work Practice: Based on a Process-Oriented Conceptualisation of Knowledge Integration. British Journal of Social Work 1–20 Jarvis, Peter (2009): Learning to be a person in society. In: Illeris, Knud (ed.): Contemporary theories of learning. Learning theorists … in their own words. London: Routledge, 21–34. Lave, Jean/Wenger, Etienne (1991): Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. New York: Cambridge University Press. Norton, R. E., & Moser, J. (2008). DACUM handbook (3rd ed.). Columbus, OH: Center on Education and Training for Employment, The Ohio State University. Schön, Donald A. (1983). The Reflective Practitioner. How professionals think in action. London: Temple Smith. The College of Social Work (2012) Professional Capabilities Framework. www.tcsw.org.uk Wenger, Etienne (1998) Communities of practice. Learning, meaning, and identity. Cambridge University Press Wilson, George (2011) Evidencing Reflective Practice in Social Work Education: Theoretical Uncertainties and Practical Challenges, British Journal of Social Work, (Advance Access online), 1-19.

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