Book review: Learning and Teaching in Social Work Practice by A. Beverley and A Worsley

Learning and Teaching in Social Work Practice


Audrey Beverley and Aiden Worsley

Palgrave Macmillan

ISBN 9781403994141

The preface of this book neatly sums up its context and contents with Beverley and Worsley pointing out that “progress is the exchange of one nuisance for another”. The authors go onto take the reader on an engaging journey of what they describe as post-structural social work practice. They acknowledge its shifting sands, the challenges of new professional practices and the complexities and realities of contemporary practice.

This is possibly best captured in their discussion of the use of the term “enablers”, as opposed to practice assessors. Their emphasis on the need for enablers and learners to manage uncertainty through effective supervision and reflection is a refreshing reminder of the importance and role of “thinking time” in social work. By negating the life course of a typical student placement and learning journey, it provides a clear overview of the core teaching, learning and assessment demands that both learners and enablers need to embrace.

The book would be most useful for new practice assessors given its discussion of adult learning styles, systems for supporting professional development and facilitating learning opportunities. Post-qualifying candidates undertaking the “enabling others” module will delight in this book as a useful reference source. Designed as a handbook, its structure and accessibility will no doubt add to its appeal.

Dawn B Judd is a senior lecturer in social work at the University of Central Lancashire


published in 16 July 2009 edition of Community Care

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