Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Exploring BSW educators' experiences of working with under-prepared students
by Richardson, Robert F., II, Ph.D., Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis, 2015, 209; 3717849
Abstract (Summary)

Little is known about the perspectives of social work educators who work with under-prepared students in baccalaureate social work (BSW) programs. Educators across fields believe that students are increasingly under-prepared to be successful in higher education, and social work programs face greater numbers of under-prepared students seeking BSW degrees. Although an increasing amount of research offers strategies for matriculating, retaining, and teaching under-prepared students, these strategies are often presented without the contextual experiences faced by the educators who work with under-prepared students on a day-to-day basis. The following research seeks to begin to fill that gap. The researcher interviewed 11 participants and used Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) to uncover the essential experiential elements of working with under-prepared BSW students and to reveal the meaning that social work educators create within these experiences. Analysis resulted in four overlapping themes including understanding under-preparation as social injustice, questioning what it means to be a social work educator, recalling compelling moments, and demonstrating care in and out of the classroom. These results suggest that social work programs and educators can more explicitly recognize how working with under-prepared students mirrors traditional social work practice, and discuss how this mirrored process might affect both educators and students. Based on these results, the meaning of advancing social justice for under-prepared students, the conflicting roles that educators often adopt with under-prepared students, and the influence of external forces on educators’ work all deserve further research.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Lay, Kathy
Commitee: Adamek, Margaret E., McGuire, Lisa E., Merrill, Henry S., Vernon, Robert
School: Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis
Department: Social Work
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: DAI-A 76/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Social work, Adult education, Higher education
Keywords: Educator perspectives, Faculty experiences, Social work programs, Under-prepared students, Unprepared students
Publication Number: 3717849
ISBN: 978-1-321-97429-4
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