SOCIAL WORK EDUCATION IN AN INTERNATIONAL CONTEXT – LEARNING FROM A CROSS-BORDER COOPERATION

Jonas Christensen, Joachim THOENNESSEN, Janet WALKER

Abstract


This article reflects on issues and lessons from an annual joint programme of learning for social work students from England, Germanyand Sweden. It contributes to the understanding and development of International Social Work Education. The initial focus is on introducing communities of practice (CoP´s) as a theoretical framework. We extend this idea to interlocking circles with students, educators and practitioners. Further on, the question of how learning in Social Work in an international context can be organized and pushed on is adressed. Through participant feedback we highlight views and experiences of students who have learned from the programme. We show that a continuous cross-border cooperation in Social work Education in which teacher´s work closely together within permanent meeting places provides a social context in itself for students and teachers. Our main conclusion is that out of different learning outcomes, the environmental one is our ´unique´ contribution to knowledge and learning. A continuous cross-border cooperation in Social Work Education in which educators, students and practitioners work closely together within permanent meeting places, creates a social context in itself for all involved actors. Learning through the stimulation of being in a new meeting place and culture may create a new framework for learning in the International Social Work discipline. Our cooperation encourages the student´s capacity for social construction.


Keywords


social education, learning, community of practice (CoP), international social work, cross-border.

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References


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