Using Book Groups in Social Work Education – Where we started, where we went and where we are going

Last night saw the last session of the Using Book Groups in Social Work Education Pilot, marking the end of an incredible journey and one that began with a few @UCLanSocialWork students in the library @UCLan.   The final session of @SWBookGroup @UCLanLIS looked slightly different in that we were joined by four Professors of Social Work, @Junethobu,  @Harr_Ferguson who lead the session and @AidanWorsley, @ivornadir, some #socialwork2014 academics, around 14 students, a practitioner and 1344 @SWBookGroup followers, a number of whom connected with us on-line.


We read the Olive Stevenson Book ‘’Reflections on a Life in Social Work: A Personal & Professional Memoir’’  providing us with time to look back on and think about  Olive’s words and works.  It was a fabulous learning space as you will see if you follow the Book Group hashtag #swbk.  It was nice to hear June talk so fondly about Olive and how she remembered the times when Olive had used literature in her teaching.  We also discovered that June tutored our Executive Dean Aidan Worsley and examined the PhD of Nigel Thomas. So not only was it an evening where we shared thoughts and reflections about social work but also one where we thought about our history and learned more about our connections.


The live streamed meant that we were able to connect with @AngieBartoli leading a group of students in @UniNorthants ; @MartinK55 and @pearsemac with their students at GCU; @katekarban @GeraldineG3 and their students at @BradfordUni and a new group @CCCUSocialWork. Throughout the course of the pilot @ProfJScourfield has worked with groups of students at @CardiffMASW ; @KatharineDill with a group @QUB_DRN and @HannahnagroM with students @SWLancs.  We have had authors’ @Deb_M_Morgan and @_LisaCherry come along and share their work and thoughts with students and we have been incredibly well supported by @APSWUK with @ProfJScourfield, @Brigid39, @ProfSueWhite and @NEStanley all giving their time and energy to the project travelling to @UCLanSocialWork  to facilitate @SWBookGroup events.



So as you can see @SWBookGroup has gone from strength to strength but why you might ask? I think I will leave the tweet feedback #swbk and video links attached to answer that question:

Student Feedback:





A Storify capturing the History of Social Work Book Group:
The Use of Book Groups in Social Work Education






So what now? Book group continues to grow and in many forms within the #socialwork14 world. Here @UCLanSocialWork colleagues have just introduced the model into modules of learning, @CollegeofSW through @AnnieHudsonTCSW are taking this initiative forward as a CPD activity for its members and I am working with Principle Social Workers from across the UK to develop a template that they can use within their organisations with practitioners.  I am also working on another piece of writing further to my thoughts about Book Groups as a practice approach started in the Social Media in Social Work Education text Social Media in Social Work Education


@SWBookGroup will continue but this time around each University involved will host an event like we have @UCLanSocialWork.  Information about these events will be posted on the Book Group Twitter feed @SWBookGroup and if you want to get involved please get in touch.


Can I just finish by thanking EVERYONE, in whatever capacity, known to me or not, for any contribution you have made to this project; one that aimed to provide a unique way of teaching and learning but more importantly one that has hopefully gone some way to further connecting the #socialwork profession.



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