Theorizing practice, practicing theories

Supervisor's Name Dr. Soma Chatterjee
Supervisor Email Address*
Supervisor's Department Social Work
Project Title Theorizing practice, practicing theories
Description of Research Project
This project has two distinct stages. First, it requires the applicant to support an extensive review of literature on critical Social Work theories and their practical application in the field. The questions informing the literature review are tentatively as follow:

• What is the dominant Social Work understanding of integration between theory and practice? Why has the divide between theory and practice been a long-standing issue in social work?
• What does theory-practice integration look like in Social Work classrooms? How does it look in various practice sites? A few key examples of practice sites (e.g., child protection, immigrant settlement, mental health counselling) will be used to anchor the review.
• What needs to change in the ways we think about theory and practice and their relationship to make integration tangible, especially for upper year Social Work students getting ready for practice? Note: Social Work education journals will be specifically accessed for this component of the review.
• Are there similar debates in other professions? What are these debates (e.g., medicine, law, Psychiatry)? Is there anything we can draw from in other professional disciplines?

The identified themes will inform a symposium titled “Theorizing practice and practicing theories” that I will organize at the School of Social Work, York University, in summer 2019.

In the second phase of the project, the applicant will help the faculty identify a few Social Work scholars, educators and practitioners who will be interviewed for their perspectives on this subject. Based on a review of the literature the applicant will create an open-ended questionnaire for the interviews. The themes generated in the interviews will be used to 1) inform the planning of the aforementioned symposium and 2) inform the writing of a journal article on critical Social Work teaching that the applicant will be invited to co-author.

Undergraduate Student Responsibilities
1) An extensive review of literature on critical Social Work theories and their practical application in the field
2) Annotated bibliography
3) Identify 3-5 Social Work scholars, educators and practitioners, ideally during the review process
4) Create open-ended interview questionnaire on the subject

I will guide the applicant throughout. However, I am looking for candidates who are self-directed and exceptionally strong in reading, writing, analytical and organizing skills.

Qualifications Required
Social Work student with very strong literature search, writing and analytical skills required. Other professional backgrounds could be also considered.