Review: Theory and Practice

Theory and Practice: A straightforward guide for social work students


Siobhan Maclean and Rob Harrison, Kirwin Maclean Associates

ISBN 9781903575567

Say “social work theory” to a cohort of social workers in training and you can almost hear the ensuing groans. This book takes the theory element and turns it on its head, providing a refreshing insight into how theory relates to practice.

It looks to build on knowledge already held by the social work student, link that to academic work and practice and encourage it to be maintained in the world of work.

The format of the book is light-hearted and could even be described as humorous, but it remains informative: the authors are actively involved in practice education, and there are many contributions from students whose personal experiences serve to allay the stereotypical fears of linking theory to practice. It highlights work that is already being done in this field and shows what can happen when the right links are made.

The light bulb logo throughout the book highlights basic but realistic questions that generate thoughts leading to more in depth reflections on theory, helping to make this book to be as “straightforward” as is stated in the title.

I would recommend it as an excellent starting point for social work students in training and beyond.

Alison Ellis is the project manager of workforce development agency Humberhub

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