Going beyond remedial learning support: reframing learning development as a catalyst for practice learning. A case study exploring father involvement in social work education.
Keywords:problem based learning, knowledge exchange, practice learning
This conference paper presents Learning Development as transcending remedial and deficit notions of academic support. A Learning Developer based at London Metropolitan University, presents a case study that illustrates the values and impact of Learning Development and Praxis.
This research project piloted a Problem Based Learning (PBL) methodology in the curriculum area of Social Work. The project worked in collaboration with social work students, lecturers and university partners between 2019 to 2021. This session may be of particular interest to those working with students in the social professions and work based learning courses.
Key challenges and implications for practice:
- Subject specialists seeing the Learning Developer role as one of ‘fixing students’.
- Potential of Problem Based Learning as part of accredited Social Work courses.
- Integrating Learning Development; embedded vs bolt on quick fixes.
- Learning Development as scaffolding reflective writing practice.
The project overcame these issues with a reach that rippled across six north east London Local Authorities as part of a Teaching Partnership. It has also been included as a topical issue for reflection, titled: ‘Promoting Positive Father Involvement’ as part of modules in practice learning. Both students and staff engaged in a workshop programme that scaffolded a dialogue between them, addressing issues of father engagement as part of practice.
Students were able to synthesise themes of theory, policy, legislation and its application to practice. As a result, some students developed substantial case studies at both level 5 and 6, and these even informed their later dissertations and research projects. This demonstrates the social value and wider impact that Learning Development has had on improving outcomes for not only students, but fathers, children and their families.
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