The article “Prepared enough to practice? Evaluating a study program in social work,” reflects on the study that was conducted by Elizabeth Engelberg at the University of Luxembourg, Route de Diekirch, Walferdange, Luxembourg (Engelberg, 2015). The objective of the study was to assess the skills as well as knowledge of the employees after having qualified with bachelor’s degree in the field of social work. In its abstract, the author notes that due to the so-called Bologna reform in Luxembourg seventy supervisors were required to assess evaluating their knowledge and skills of employees that have already qualified with the degree under the curriculum in social work and pedagogy that had recently been introduced. To consult for the project, the supervisors were solicited as being part of the quality assurance about the study program. The data in the assessments would be collected through questionnaires while the University of Luxembourg funded the study.
According to the findings, the newly qualified personnel were assessed as adequately trained while there was a need for better understanding of the procedure and process in which beginner practitioners were being socialized into the profession (Engelberg, 2015). Further, the results from the study also suggested that practice proficiency draws extensively on the general set of skills and knowledge that are common in the field of social work.
About the application of the survey, the article provides that the findings from the research trigger a more particular focus on the generic skills and their roles in the development of proficiency in the practice placements including during the first year after one has been employed. In this case, the study is serving as one of the many examples of how to assess the readiness in practicing for newly qualified practitioners in references to social professions.[“Write my essay for me?” Get help here.]
According to the author of the study, the outcome of such assessment of social skills and knowledge could be instrumental in informing on different needs for curriculum revision at the first levels (Engelberg, 2015). At the same time, with comparative and cross-national approaches, this kind of assessment could play a critical role in guiding any adaptations in responding to the increased internationalization of many social problems. The following paper wishes to provide a critical analysis of the article, “Prepared enough to practice? Evaluating a study program in social work,” by Elizabeth Engelberg at the University of Luxembourg as shown in the section below.
In its introductory part, the author of the article provides the general overview of the increased attention that has been given to the evaluation of the effectiveness of social work education (Engelberg, 2015). The author notes that it is critical to call for the continuous review and improvement of social work education throughout Europe to ensure that quality education is maintained or improved. The author states that the fundamental objective of efforts in quality assurance should be to make an adjustment concerning how to improve the preparation of students for social work before they are placed in employment market (Engelberg, 2015). On this above observation, the author notes that students are the future hope for any profession including in the social work field. In this way, it is advisable to ensure that a good transition is done from one generation to another by providing enough proficiency to care for service users who might be having complex needs. [Need an essay writing service? Find help here.]
Significance of the Study
About the above concerns, especially in the student’s ability to tackle ever-changing requirements of the society, the author observes that it is prudent to carry out evaluations on the extent to which beginner practitioners are meeting the qualifying standards including assessing their readiness to practice (Engelberg, 2015). According to Engelberg, the results of such evaluation process are instrumental at both local and global levels. Engelberg notes that educators can make use of such assessments in determining the possible need for revising curriculum by making the necessary adjustments. She also highlights that comparative and cross-national efforts in the field of social work can as well use such evaluations in coming up with adaptations that could address the problems that are experienced especially with the increasing internationalization of social action issues. Notably, studies have been conducted in the attempt to evaluate the skills and knowledge of newly qualified practitioners in the field of social work. According to Engelberg, however, there is a gap in the literature materials that she sourced, in that little effort has been applied to assess the implication of so-called Bologna reform in the social work profession (Engelberg, 2015). Therefore, the author wishes to provide a further contribution to the previous efforts by conducting the study of assessing social work practitioners who had qualified under the new system in Luxembourg, which followed the so-called Bologna reform. According to the author, the Bologna reform is known to have resulted into the overhaul of social work curricula on the European continent.
The author has attempted to provide the difference between the objective of Bologna reform and its application in Luxembourg (Engelberg, 2015). According to her, the aim of Bologna reform was to ensure that professional qualification in different nations of the member’s state in the European Union was promoted, while the ultimate goal being to make sure that labor mobility was facilitated. Based on these objectives, the reform program was intentionally established with measures to integrate uniform recognition and credit systems. Consequently, many programs would undergo a reorganization to align their curricula with the Bologna system that is based on a three-year Bachelor’s degree followed by a two-year Master’s degree (Engelberg, 2015). Notably, it must be appreciated that the author has provided an example of Netherlands, Germany, and Austria, where the previous three-and-a-half or four-year programs was replaced by a three-year Bachelor’s program in social work at the polytechnic, college, or university level of applied science.
To show the contrast, the researcher notes that in Luxembourg, the Bologna reform introduced an entirely new system to prepare social work practitioners as well as those in the field of social pedagogy (Engelberg, 2015). Engelberg notes that this amplification of the program led to the assessment of how well the social work students who qualified under this new system meet the expectations of the social service sector. Accordingly, the researcher observes that it would be prudent to explain the development the led up to the launching of the bachelor’s program (Engelberg, 2015). However, this could be viewed as not playing a significant role in the study since she had already explained the need to conduct the research.
Research Questions and Methodology
According to Engelberg, it was deemed crucial to evaluate how the holders of BSSE degree were being received in the social service work (Engelberg, 2015). In this case, Engelberg decided to approach the task by asking the supervisors who were working in the social service sector to make assessments on their perception of skills and knowledge of the practitioners. Therefore, supervisors were required to assess the overall competence of the newly qualified practitioners. Engelberg notes that although the directors were requested to conduct that assessment, the team was aware of the controversy that was surrounding the notion of ‘competence’ in the industry. [Click Essay Writer to order your essay]
In this connection, the study used the competence-based approach in understanding how competent the practitioners are in social work field (Engelberg, 2015). Based on the competence-based method, the efforts that the author put in explaining about this approach must be appreciated. In her submission, she notes that competence-based approach has been criticized for encouraging fragmentation of the complex skills base of the social work field into different and many separate abilities. According to the author, the risk of such fragmentation is that one may leave the intricacy of professional practice as such (Engelberg, 2015). At the same time, the competence-based approach has as well been associated with the anti-oppressive practice, which is the prerequisite of which is engagement with the whole person due to the skills fragmentation inherent in the competence-based models.[“Write my essay for me?” Get help here.]
Despite the above criticism and limitations of the competence-based approach, the author has tried to explain the reason why the method was the most applicable in the research study (Engelberg, 2015). According to her, research on skills development seems to be viable rooted in the concept of ‘competence,’ such as in studies on collaborative expertise as well as cultural competence. However, most importantly is that literature has shown that social work community has noted the need for a comprehensive description of the skills that are relevant for professional practice. In this connection, several studies have been conducted with the aim of providing inventories of such social skills (Engelberg, 2015). The studies have interestingly shown the striking similarities in what practitioners and recruiters reported which include adaptability, openness, the importance of communication skills, interpersonal effectiveness, as well as capacity for teamwork. Other similarities include analytical thinking, creativity, and an understanding of multiculturalism and ethics, which makes it appropriate to apply the competence-based approach in this study.
Further, it must be commendable that The author has gone ahead to define different terms such as “generic skills” as primarily referring to the “abilities that people possess in addition to their academic qualifications, and that can be used across a number of different occupations” (Engelberg, 2015). Other terms that she has provided heir definitions include “method” and “supervisor.” Notably, this is necessarily crucial for any reader or critic who would like to understand the project and endorse its outcome as one of the reliable studies in the field of social work.
In summary, the study’s objective was to determine the extent to which practice proficiency hinges on such generic skills by investigating the “quality assurance about the BSSE program and, therefore, entailed an evaluation of the competence of practitioners who had recently graduated with a BSSE degree’. At the same time, the study was also aiming at examining the relationship between so-called generic skills and the methods that were being used in the social professions.
In this section, the author has explained the sample size and how the data was collected. In her submission, she has noted that seventy supervisors were selected to gather data with questionnaires from the employees (Engelberg, 2015). The questionnaire was divided into four parts. The first part was the introductory section where the respondents would be expected to provide the scope of the tasks as well as the category of service users at a particular work unit. The second part was to monitor if supervisors had previously received and completed the questionnaire at hand. The third part covered a list of fourteen items regarding generic skills which were being taught to a varying extent in the BSSE program, and which are, according to previous research, particularly relevant to the field of social work (Engelberg, 2015). Finally, the fourth part consisted of different methods that were being taught in the BSSE program, which included, among others, four issues of social pedagogy with children, adolescents, adults, and the senior citizens respectively.[Click Essay Writer to order your essay]
The researchers used both statistical reduction technique and factor analysis in compiling and analyzing the data (Engelberg, 2015). After collection of the data, the factor analysis method was used to analysis the information. The objective of applying factor analysis in this process was to reduce a set of items that were describing different aspects of the phenomenon and which would lead to their inter-correlation (Engelberg, 2015). The importance of applying the statistical reduction technique for the fourteen items was to enable the researcher to gain insights on the underlying dimensions of the entire set of data. The method was also instrumental in the generation of a more convenient set of variables that would be included in later statistical analyses.
Although the article consisted of different sections of the project, it failed to provide a chronology of these sections as required in such level of research writing. For example, the paper failed to explicitly outline the questions that were to be answered by the results. Secondly, the article neglected to highlight in a numbered of bullet format the objectives of the study. However, the author has tried to justify the research and explained the method used.
work Université du Luxembourg, Luxembourg. Journal of Social Work September, vol.
16 (5), 561-577.