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Professional learning as a way of being a social worker: Post-qualifying learning among Japanese social workers

Asano, Takahiro (2015) Professional learning as a way of being a social worker: Post-qualifying learning among Japanese social workers. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

This study examined how the experienced social workers continued to learn as professionals in the context of Japanese social work. The findings have suggested that the challenges and struggles they confronted were closely related to their professional ways of being. We cannot understand their learning unless we set each person’s learning experiences in the context of their way of being a social worker. They saw their learning as something about changes in their understanding in varying ways. Though those perspective changes in learning varied widely depending on their learning situation, three components of professional learning have been identified: Experience; Opportunity; and Reflection. Experience describes how professional learning involves the interconnection of cumulative background experiences they had, which can include both within their professional work and outside. What counts as a learning Opportunity can vary considerably according to them. It makes good sense to treat learning opportunities not as a distinct one but as a unified entity. Reflection involves them seeing practice from different perspectives, in that their taken-for-granted assumption is challenged, which may lead to new possibilities that can make their practice different in their working context. These three components are not entirely distinct from each other, but inextricably interwoven. The findings reveal that there is the significant gap between what the social workers value in learning and what is expected from their organizations, professional associations, and universities in today’s uncertain working environments, in which they are required to ensure increased professional accountability for their performance with measurable standards. In the gap, voices of social workers have been underrepresented in the discourse of professional development. To share awareness of diverse and complex learning as experienced by social workers can be a first step in making a difference to professional learning in the context of Japanese social work.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Professional learning, Post-qualifying learning, Professional development, Japanese social workers, Professional ways of being
Academic Units: The University of York > Social Policy and Social Work (York)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.677371
Depositing User: Mr Takahiro Asano
Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2016 14:47
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2016 13:33
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/11499

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