Learning Social Work through Role Play: Developing More Confident and Capable Social Workers
AbstractRole-plays are a staple teaching tool in social work classes that help students apply practice skills. Various uses of role-plays have been discussed in social work literature. Intensive simulated role-plays in which students practice skills over a series of weeks alternately acting as a social worker and a client, offers an opportunity to practice skills in greater depth. This small-scale research study examines undergraduate students’ perceived improvement of their interviewing skills through participation in an intensive simulation. Qualitative data were collected through surveys administered over three years. Results suggest that students learned by observing, receiving immediate feedback, and acting as a social worker. Findings also indicate that students valued the experience and felt it prepared them for practice with clients. Implications for teaching and undergraduate social work programs are discussed.
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