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Printed from the ScOPTbox Practice Learning Library

Lifting the Lid: Perspectives on and Activity within Student Supervision

Practice teaching is central to social work education. Significant changes have occurred in the past 10 years affecting social work education in Scotland. This article reports on the findings of a small-scale study involving the audio recording of supervision sessions and the interviewing of students and practice teachers engaged in a 65-day assessed placement. The research reveals a high level of congruence between students and practice teachers in perspectives on the supervisory relationship, confirms the findings of other studies concerning effective supervision and provides some vivid evidence of practice teacher and student activity within supervision perceived to be conducive to student learning. A specific finding was the association between the use of 'exploring' by practice teachers and students engaging in practice analysis. It is concluded that the changes affecting social work education over the past 10 years, on the evidence of this small sample, overall have had positive impact on the supervisory relationship within practice learning. One area suggested for further study is the potential link between 'expressing opinion' by practice teachers and students within supervision and the development of evidence-based practice.

Social Work Education, 2013 Vol. 32, No. 4, 506-522

  • Author(s):
Ian Brodie, Val Williams
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Placement Journey
Research and Evaluation
Assessment, Supervisor, Evidence-Based Practice, Evidence-Informed Practice
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Moira Dunworth
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Brodie, I. and Williams, V. (2013) Lifting the Lid: Perspectives on and Activity within Student Supervision. ScOPTbox Practice Learning Library. [Online]. Available from:

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