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Self-reflexive Student Research and its Implications for Social Work Education

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This paper presents a thematic analysis of postgraduate social work student research on refugee and migrant experiences in Aotearoa New Zealand, collected in the last decade from one university social work programme. The focus is on the ways in which students located themselves in relation to their research, which explored diverse facets of refugee and migrant experience and was invariably connected in some way to their own experiences. Students not only learnt to conduct qualitative research, but also found that having been drawn to locate themselves within it for ethical reasons, their self-reflexive stance had enabled greater personal learning and in some cases, healing. This added greatly to their professional development and through the collation of their research reports it can be shown that for students, locating themselves in relation to their research may be a worthwhile part of learning to be a professional social worker.
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Keywords: Professional Development; Reflexivity; Refugees; Research; Self-location; Social Work Education

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2011

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