Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Capturing the space in-between: Understanding the relevance of professional “use of self” for social work education through hermeneutic phenomenology
by Larrison, Tara Earls, Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2009, 228; 3363133
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this research was to explore the intersection of pedagogy and practice in social work education by using theoretical and methodological principles of hermeneutic phenomenology. The study sought to better understand the processes by which “professional use of self” (use of self) is developed, fostered, modeled, and applied through the educational processes and relational experiences of educators and students in one MSW Program. Field study data were generated through individual interviews, focus group conversations, and observations.

Masterful application of use of self is articulated as the integrated embodiment of knowledge and action—captured metaphorically as the nuanced “space in-between”—that enables the practitioner to purposefully and intentionally bring elements into the transaction to illuminate new understanding. The findings provide greater conceptual understanding of the relevance and impact of use of self as a phenomenon for social work education. Use of self is both explicit and implicit in the educational environment, pedagogies, and practices of social work educators and students, and plays an integral role in practitioner identity and actions.

Dialogical methods, phenomenological writing, and creative analytic practices contributed to an emphasis on the interplay between the researcher's use of self as an instrument for inquiry, interpretation, and analysis. Through these processes, understanding of the phenomenon was enlarged. Theoretical and practical implications for social work education and practice are suggested in the dialogical meaning created in the space of the inquiry itself.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Korr, Wynne S.
School: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-A 70/06, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Social work, Higher education, Education philosophy
Keywords: Creative analytic practices, Hermeneutic phenomenology, Pedagogy and practice, Social work education, Use of self
Publication Number: 3363133
ISBN: 978-1-109-22024-7
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