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SOWK301 Theories and Methods of Social Work

An introduction to the main theoretical traditions informing the practice of social work in the Aotearoa/New Zealand context, their expression in Social Work methods, and the location of these theories and models within an overview of theoretical perspectives.

This paper provides the foundation for the social work professional programme for both on-campus and distance students. It provides an overview of theory using the ecological model as a framework. The purpose of this paper is to explore the application of theory to social work practice in Aotearoa/New Zealand. The content covers theories and models that shape assessment and guide intervention at each of the three levels of the ecological model. This paper introduces the concept of practice frameworks, which allow for the integration of different theories and models in a coherent manner.

Theories and models introduced during this paper will be critically evaluated in relation to culture, class, gender, age and ability. Given that many of these theories and models have been developed in other contexts, their relevance for practice in Aotearoa/New Zealand is explored. Students are also encouraged to evaluate these theories in relation to their own values. The material provided in lectures will be applied to case studies to provide students with the opportunity to explore the practical application of theory. Students will have the opportunity to critically evaluate theories and models from the perspective of their practical application and their own values. In the final assignment students will be required to develop their own framework for practice and apply this to their chosen case study.

Paper title Theories and Methods of Social Work
Paper code SOWK301
Subject Social Work
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period(s) First Semester, First Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $851.85
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $3,585.00

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Restriction
SOWX 301
Limited to
BSW
Notes
Non-BSW students may be admitted to this paper with approval from the Head of Department of Sociology, Gender and Social Work.
Contact
sgsw@otago.ac.nz
Teaching staff
Course Co-ordinator: Associate Professor Nicola Atwool
Paper Structure
The paper is divided into three modules exploring theories and models that shape social work practice at micro- (individuals and families), meso- (organisations and communities) and macro- (societal and political) levels.
Textbooks
  • Connolly, M. & Harms, L. (2012) Social work. From theory to practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Gardner, F. (2006). Working with Human Service Organisations. Melbourne: Oxford University Press
Course outline
A course outline will be provided at the commencement of the paper.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Critical thinking, Cultural understanding.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
By successfully completing this paper students will
  • Develop critical analytical skills on the areas of social theories and methodologies examined in the paper
  • Understand the nature and causes of social inequality and poverty
  • Critically assess differing explanations of problems and their practical implications for change
  • Develop communication ability within the context of social services provision
  • Be able to analyse the basis and effectiveness of current practice models
  • Develop skills of critical reflection on one's own professional practice
Teaching Arrangements
Eligibility

^ Top of page

Timetable

First Semester

Location
Dunedin
Teaching method
This paper is taught through Distance Learning
Learning management system
Blackboard

Workshop

Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend
A1 Monday 10:00-16:50 9
AND
B1 Tuesday 09:00-16:50 9

First Semester

Location
Dunedin
Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system
Blackboard

Lecture

Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend
L1 Monday 10:00-11:50 10-15, 17-22
Tuesday 09:00-10:50 10-15, 18-22

Workshop

Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend
A1 Monday 10:00-16:50 9
AND
B1 Tuesday 09:00-16:50 9

An introduction to the main theoretical traditions informing the practice of social work in the Aotearoa/New Zealand context, their expression in Social Work methods, and the location of these theories and models within an overview of theoretical perspectives.

This paper provides the foundation for the social work professional programme for both on-campus and distance students. It provides an overview of theory using the ecological model as a framework. The purpose of this paper is to explore the application of theory to social work practice in Aotearoa/New Zealand. The content covers theories and models that shape assessment and guide intervention at each of the three levels of the ecological model. This paper introduces the concept of practice frameworks, which allow for the integration of different theories and models in a coherent manner.

Theories and models introduced during this paper will be critically evaluated in relation to culture, class, gender, age and ability. Given that many of these theories and models have been developed in other contexts, their relevance for practice in Aotearoa/New Zealand is explored. Students are also encouraged to evaluate these theories in relation to their own values. The material provided in lectures will be applied to case studies to provide students with the opportunity to explore the practical application of theory. Students will have the opportunity to critically evaluate theories and models from the perspective of their practical application and their own values. In the final assignment students will be required to develop their own framework for practice and apply this to their chosen case study.

Paper title Theories and Methods of Social Work
Paper code SOWK301
Subject Social Work
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period(s) First Semester, First Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $868.95
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $3,656.70

^ Top of page

Restriction
SOWK 551, SOWX 301
Limited to
BSW
Notes
Non-BSW students may be admitted to this paper with approval from the Head of Department of Sociology, Gender and Social Work.
Eligibility
Contact
sgsw@otago.ac.nz
Teaching staff
Course Co-ordinator: Associate Professor Nicola Atwool
Paper Structure
The paper is divided into three modules exploring theories and models that shape social work practice at micro- (individuals and families), meso- (organisations and communities) and macro- (societal and political) levels.
Teaching Arrangements
Textbooks
  • Connolly, M. & Harms, L. (2012) Social work. From theory to practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Gardner, F. (2006). Working with Human Service Organisations. Melbourne: Oxford University Press
Course outline
A course outline will be provided at the commencement of the paper.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Critical thinking, Cultural understanding.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
By successfully completing this paper students will
  • Develop critical analytical skills on the areas of social theories and methodologies examined in the paper
  • Understand the nature and causes of social inequality and poverty
  • Critically assess differing explanations of problems and their practical implications for change
  • Develop communication ability within the context of social services provision
  • Be able to analyse the basis and effectiveness of current practice models
  • Develop skills of critical reflection on one's own professional practice

^ Top of page

Timetable

First Semester

Location
Dunedin
Teaching method
This paper is taught through Distance Learning
Learning management system
Blackboard

Workshop

Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend
A1 Monday 10:00-16:50 9
AND
B1 Tuesday 09:00-16:50 9

First Semester

Location
Dunedin
Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system
Blackboard

Lecture

Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend
L1 Monday 10:00-11:50 10-13, 15-22
Tuesday 09:00-10:50 10-13, 15-22

Workshop

Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend
A1 Monday 10:00-16:50 9
AND
B1 Tuesday 09:00-16:50 9