Enhancing the practice learning experiences of BME students: Strategies for practice education

Prospera Tedam


Practice learning, also known as field education or practicum is central to social work education not only in the UK, but also in countries such as the United States of America, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and South Africa. It presents students with opportunities to integrate academic learning and practice experience with people, their families, communities and environments, and enables the development and enhancement of key skills and social work values. In England, recent studies have highlighted the disparity between black students and white students in terms of progression and attainment on social work qualifying programmes, and practice placements are becoming notorious as sites of difficulty for many students from black and minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds. This paper focuses on a sub-group (black African students), an ethnic minority group with a unique set of characteristics which have been found to contribute to their specific experiences of practice education in the UK.
This paper outlines some strategies which have been proposed by black African students as necessary and central to enhancing their practice learning experiences and outcomes on social work programmes. This article was developed from a paper presented to the International Conference on Practice Learning in Scotland (4-7 April 2014).

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1921/jpts.v13i2-3.820


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