Stories in social work:
Keywords:narrative methods in social work, practice learning opportunity, work integrated learning, evidence-based learning
Summary: Practice learning opportunities form an integral part of studies of social work on the Social Pedagogy program at University West in Sweden and, over a period spanning several years, we have developed a reflective approach to both campus and practice learning. Over the last four years we have worked with a narrative approach to the creation of knowledge from practice learning and for examining the learning outcomes that derive from this educational process. The aim of this article is to describe and discuss the narrative approach to the creation of knowledge using the so-called ‘storytelling method’ as an educational resource for eliciting evidence of learning outcomes in practice learning. We have used this approach to capture the learning that takes place when students are on learning opportunity placements in the social work/social pedagogical field, both nationally and internationally. The article describes both the educational context where storytelling takes place, and the research focus on work integrated learning that led to the implementation of this pedagogical tool. We will also describe and analyse how we use the ‘storytelling method’ with a focus on how it can be used to ‘evidence’ students’ learning.