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Teaching Community Development Personal Practice Frameworks

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The article, drawing on the results of a small research project investigating a cohort of student-practitioners who had studied a course titled ‘Frameworking for Community Development’, considers the implications for teaching within a university setting. The findings of the research discuss such topics as, what a personal practice framework is, the process of creating such a framework by practitioner-learners, and the use of traditions. Within the discussion the article argues for a shift away from using a ‘personal practice framework’, to a ‘subjectively held practice framework’, reflecting an increased awareness that the journey towards constructing a practice framework is itself an active engagement in a community of practice, rather than, or as well as, an intellectual or introspective personal journey. Furthermore, the article proposes that to create an experience of elicitive learning in a community of practice today runs counter to the usual learning style of universities. It requires opportunities to talk, to learn together, and to be with uncertainty and ambivalence, to challenge each other. The article contributes significant new social work thinking in relation to both reflective practice and teaching for community development.
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Keywords: Community Development; Constructing Practice; Curriculum Development; Curriculum Research; Personal Practice Frameworks; Reflective Learning

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: University of Free State, South Africa 2: Griffith University, Australia

Publication date: April 1, 2012

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