The Development of a Theory to Practice Session for Students


  • Jenny Rose NSW Health, the Children's Hospital at Westmead
  • Kay de Ridder NSW Health, Clinical Excellence Commission
  • Tania Vannitamby


Theory and practice integration, Field placement, Student supervision


Social work students frequently report challenges in merging their university learning with their placement experiences. A joint approach was implemented across three different NSW Health sites to provide students with models that enable them to integrate their academic learning with their placement experiences. In a one-off, two-hour group session, students were exposed to frameworks that experienced social workers reported assisted them to link theory with practice. Evaluations showed that, after the session, students had an increased understanding of the role of theory in social work practice and were more able to incorporate it into their practice. The theory to practice session gave students tools and language to speak about theory with other professionals.


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