Citation Woodward R & Mackay K (2012) Mind the gap!: Students' Understanding and Application of Social Work Values. Social Work Education, 31 (8), pp. 1090-1104. https://doi.org/10.1080/02615479.2011.608252
Abstract This paper discusses a research project that explored the development of student social workers' values during the first year of professional education at one Scottish university. Questionnaires, based on a vignette, and focus groups established baseline information at the outset of the study. These methods were reapplied a year later to identify the extent to which students' values framework had developed, and the factors that had supported this. The study revealed that, by the end of that year, students could both identify and apply values to support them in their work with individuals to a greater extent than they could those to help them challenge structural discrimination. The study also highlighted the need for university-based teaching, and practice learning experiences, to provide more opportunities for reflection and discussion to support the development of values in student social workers.