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Exploratory Research on Professional Images of Social Work: An Example of MSW Students Who Are Not Social Work at Their First Degree
Social Work Education Program
Social Work Professional Image
The purpose of this study is to understand the professional images formed by the social work master students, who are not undergraduates of social work major, during the period of social work education, to explore how social work education shapes personal professional images and the resistance or assistance of their previous bachelor learning experiences exerted on their study of social work, and finally to make suggestions for Taiwan's social work postgraduate program. Therefore, this study invited seven graduate students of year two and above, who are not undergraduates of social work major, with no practical experience (excluding internship experience) as research objects. The study conducted an in-depth interview with the seven respondents respectively, and also a focus group interview. The research conclusions are as follows: 1.Respondents chose to study social work cross-disciplinarily due to their interests and future career planning considerations. 2.In the course of studying social work, the learning skills and abilities developed by the respondents in their previous bachelor studies are helpful to their study of the social work program, and the difficulties they encounter are mostly due to the lack of practical experience in social work. 3.In the experience of social work education, the respondents often undergo exclusionary experience in the process of integration. In addition, they mostly aim to obtain the qualification of social workers in their study plan. Also, the respondents also believe that internships based on basic knowledge can better shape professional images for social workers. 4.Social work professional images of the respondents: (1) agreeing with the core values of social work – social service and personal dignity and value; (2) focusing on the professional concept framework of direct service; (3) partially questioning the application of professional knowledge in real practice; (4) focusing on the professional role of social workers as resource linkers; (5) certified social worker license; (6) most have not yet produced a sense of social work career dedication. Based on the above research conclusions, this study puts forward suggestions for social work education program and postgraduates who are not undergraduates of social work major for reference. Finally, this study has the following research restrictions – no way to compare the differences of professional images between people of different experience, difficulty in discussing professional behavior due to lack of practical experience, difficulty in classifying the difference between the bachelor students and the master students. This study hopes to provide reference for relevant research in the future.
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