Improving the Research Climate in Social Work Curricula: Clarifying Learning Expectations Across BSW and MSW Research Courses

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social work education, research, curriculum


Research courses are associated with performance anxiety and educational insecurity for many social work students. This paper makes the case that student anxiety associated with research courses is rooted in the history of the social work profession, and this history sheds light on the present day climate of research in social work education. The authors suggest that improvement to the research climate in social work education requires an “institutional” response. To that end, this paper describes a committee process that resulted in changes to one school's curriculum policy by revamping student learning objectives for a sequence of five research courses that spanned BSW and MSW programs. The committee produced a continuum of student learning expectations based on Bloom's taxonomy, which represents a logical progression of knowledge and skill competencies as students advance through their course work.


This article was originally published as Adam, N., Zosky, D., & Unrau, Y. (2004). Improving the research climate in social work curricula: Clarifying learning expectations across BSW and MSW research courses. The Journal of Teaching in Social Work.24 (3/4), 1-18.