Sources of Knowledge

Discussion 1:  Integrating Theory and Practice

As a social work student, it is important to understand the need for theory-informed practice. As you assess, intervene, and evaluate in your practice, theory is an essential foundation for clinical social work. The use of theory to inform and guide your practice is what establishes you as a professional. In working with clients, you should always be aware of the underlying theory of your clinical approach. Through this course, you will develop the ability to better articulate the theoretical base by which you choose your interventions. You will use theory in every decision you make as it guides you through your practice. Additionally, identifying the theories in assessing and creating change will make you a more confident and skilled social work practitioner.

Post an analysis and description of the importance of the use of theory in clinical practice. Then describe how the use of theory relates to the social issue of military veterans adapting to life after the military. Should be at least 100 words and include at least 1 reference and 1 citation.

Discussion 2: Field Education Experience

Post a blog in Microsoft Word that includes:

· A description of your understanding of field education experiences

· An explanation of your role as an intern in your field education experience.

· The internship is at the Indiana Youth Group. Here is their website so you can understand what they do at Indiana Youth Group:

Should be at least 100 words and include at least 1 reference and 1 citation.


Discussion 3: Sources of Knowledge

Social workers make decisions in practice settings based on different sources of knowledge, including their intuition, personal experiences, tradition, authority, and theories and research evidence. These sources of knowledge can be used together to contribute to decisions. Which source(s) of knowledge do you rely on? What are the strengths and limitations of each source of knowledge, and how will they affect your social work practice? For example, think about the sources of knowledge you used when you made decisions in your field experience. In this Discussion, you consider the sources of knowledge that inform your practice decisions.

By Day 4

· Explain how and why your choices differed in Situations 1 and 2 (below).

· Evaluate when using intuition or personal experiences is advantageous in making clinical decisions. Provide an illustration of this from your fieldwork experience.

· Analyze when using theories and research evidence is advantageous in making clinical decisions. Provide an illustration of this from your fieldwork experience.

Situation 1

Think back to a client (individual, family, group, agency, or community) with whom you have worked. Place a check mark next to each criterion you used to make your practice decision. If you have not yet worked with a client, think of the criteria on which you would probably rely.

____1. Your intuition (gut feeling) about what will be effective

____2. What you have heard from other professionals in informal exchanges

____3. Your experience with a few cases

____4. Your demonstrated track record of success based on data you have gathered systematically and regularly

____5. What fits your personal style

____6. What was usually offered at your agency

____7. Self-reports of other clients about what was helpful

____8. Results of controlled experimental studies (data that show a method is helpful)

____9. What you are most familiar with

____10. What you know by critically reading professional literature

Situation 2

Imagine you have a potentially serious medical problem and you seek help from a physician to examine treatment options. Place a check mark next to each criterion you would like your physician to rely on when he or she makes recommendations about your treatment.

____1. The physician’s intuition (gut feeling) that a method will work

____2. What he or she has heard from other physicians in informal exchanges

____3. The physician’s experience with a few cases

____4. The physician’s demonstrated track record of success based on data he or she has gathered systematically and regularly

____5. What fits his or her personal style

____6. What is usually offered at the clinic

____7. Self-reports of patients about what was helpful

____8. Results of controlled experimental studies (data that show a method is helpful)

____9. What the physician is most familiar with

____10. What the physician has learned by critically reading professional literature

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