Developing a case-based experiential learning model at a program level in a regional university : reflections on the developmental process
- Authors: Patil, Tejaswini , Hunt, Michelle , Cooper, Kimberlea , Townsend, Rob
- Date: 2020
- Type: Text , Journal article
- Relation: Australian Journal of Adult Learning Vol. 60, no. 2 (2020), p. 225-244
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- Description: This article reflects on the developmental process of a case-based experiential learning model: the Federation University model, in an undergraduate community and human services program at a regional university. There is abundant literature that addresses the use and need for introducing experiential learning at the subject/unit level in community and human services/social work content. However, despite the expansion of research on experiential learning, there is limited literature that bridges the gap between course/program level teaching philosophy and using experiential learning activities in individual subjects. The article will demonstrate how Kolb’s four stage cycle (Kolb, 1984) and case-based experiential learning were integrated to develop curriculum at a program level. It will also demonstrate how a move to experiential learning facilitated better alignment with face-to-face and online learning. As a way of argument, we suggest that case-based experiential learning is very relevant and useful to human services/ social work education because of its emphasis on bridging the theory and praxis nexus and providing graduates with an opportunity to work effectively in a complex, fluid and ever-changing sector. © 2020, Adult Learning Australia. All rights reserved.
Being a parent, but not : the role of foster and kinship carers in supporting children and young people
- Authors: Cooper, Kimberlea
- Date: 2020
- Type: Text , Thesis , PhD
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- Description: Home-based carers play an important role in the lives of children and young people. In Victoria, Australia, home-based care is now the most common form of alternative care, reflecting national and international trends. However, home-based care does currently face some challenges, such as shortages of carers. Therefore, strengthening this form of care through the training and support of foster and kinship carers is a key priority of Victoria’s reforms of child and family services. In the context of a university-industry collaboration, the current research drew upon the expertise of sixteen foster and kinship carers in the Central Highlands region of Victoria. Using constructivist grounded theory, the research sought to understand how carers support children and young people and how they see their role. In addition, the research sought carers’ perspectives on their interactions with the Out-of-Home Care (OOHC) system, including what they find supportive and challenging. The research revealed that home-based carers see some elements of their role as parenting, and others as going beyond parenting. The carers utilise principles of trauma-informed care to support children and young people, but do not experience trauma-informed support from the OOHC system. This discrepancy suggests that the implementation of trauma-informed care has the potential to increase pressure on home-based carers if it is only encouraged at the interpersonal level between carers and children and does not incorporate associated systems-level change. Therefore, this research proposes that whilst micro-level support and training for carers is necessary and useful, it is crucial to move beyond such initiatives to make macro-level reform. This research also raises doubts regarding the capacity of home-based care to become fully trauma-informed due to potential incompatibilities with the current risk-averse and deficit-oriented paradigm of the child protection system.
- Description: Doctor of Philosophy