EXPLORING SELF AND HUMAN AGENCY

SHE Level 1
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M1L522637
Module Leader Louise Mackellar
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Social Work
Trimester
  • A (September start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Programme entry requirements

Summary of Content

This module explores the concept of 'self' as it relates to social work practice. The 'use of self' traditionally has been understood as essential for effective practice. Social work is practised through the medium of relationships. Relationship-based practice is valued by service users and appears to lead to positive outcomes. This module initially draws from psychological theory to develop a basic understanding of some influences of psychology on social work. Students will cover the contribution made by influential 'schools' of psychology to an understanding of human development and human behaviour. In view of their impact on social work, the following will be covered: behaviourism, humanism, psycho-dynamic theory and cognitive theories. Current conceptions of 'self' will be discussed, and their relevance to social work practice will be explored. These include: 'social well-being'; 'self-efficacy'; and 'mindfulness'. While the theoretical debates that underlie these conceptions will be covered, the primary focus will be on enabling students to better understand themselves, to develop strategies for 'looking after themselves' in contemporary social work settings and to become effective in the 'use of self' for the benefit of service users.

Syllabus

-426 1. Introduction - understanding and using self in social work. 2. Influences of psychology on social work - overview and examples. 3. Key perspectives in psychology: overview. 4. Behaviourism: key features; some strengths and weaknesses of this perspective; examples of its application to social work. 5. Humanism: key features; some strengths and weaknesses of this perspective; examples of its application to social work. 6. Psychodynamic theory: key features; some strengths and weaknesses of this perspective; examples of its application to social work. 7. Cognitive theory: key features; some strengths and weaknesses of this perspective; examples of its application to social work. 8. Influences of trauma on behaviour: example of domestic violence. 9. Influence of substance misuse on behaviour. 10. Current conceptions in understanding 'self'. 11. Social well-being: understanding the concept and its application to social work. 12. Self-efficacy: understanding the concept and its application to social work. 13. Mindfulness: understanding the concept and its application to social work. 14. Conclusion: using and preserving self in social work practice.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:1. Understand and demonstrate an awareness of the importance of the 'use of self' in social work practice.2. Understand the influence on social work of psychological theory.3. Demonstrate an understanding and awareness of key features of selected psychological theories, and their application to social work practice.4. Understand and demonstrate and awareness of conceptions of 'self' and how these can enhance professional development and effective social work practice.5. Develop strategies for 'looking after self' in contemporary social work settings.6. Exercise autonomy in the development of strategies for 'looking after 'self'

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The module will be delivered in Trimester B using lectures to address central themes followed by seminars to consolidate and further learning. Seminars will enable more in-depth coverage of themes as well as the application of these themes to professional identity, professional development and social work practice. A blended approach to learning will be facilitated through the use of GCU Learn. A significant amount of background material and resources will be available through GCU Learn to enable students to develop their understanding of theories and themes 'signposted' in lectures.

Indicative Reading

Bandura, A. (1997) Self-Efficacy in changing societies , Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Bandura, A (1989) Human Agency and Social Cognitive Theory, American Psychology , Sept. 1989 Bernstein, D.A. (2012) Psychology (9 th ed.), Cengage/Wadsworth. Gross, D. (2012) Psychology: the science of mind and behaviour (6 th ed.), Hodder Education. Gross, D. (2012) Key studies in psychology (6 th ed.), Hodder Education. Nicolson, P. et al (2006) Applied Psychology for Social Workers (3 rd ed.), Palgrave MacMillan. Rolls, G. (2010) Classic Case Studies in psychology (2 nd ed.), Hodder Arnold. Ryckman, R.M. (2013) Theories of Personality (10 th ed.),Cengage Learning Inc. Thomson, N. (2009) People Skills (3 rd ed.), Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan. Webb, S.A. (2013), Theorising Social Well-Being: Subjective Mental States, Preference Satisfaction or Mitsuen.

Transferrable Skills

-284 1. Divergent thinking. 2. Broader and deeper learning. 3. Real world problem-solving. 4. Self-awareness. 5. Critical reflection. 6. Group work. 7. Applying theory in practice.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Lectures (FT) 18.00
Independent Learning (FT) 144.00
Seminars (FT) 18.00
Assessment (FT) 20.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Course Work 01 n/a 100.00 40% 2500 word portfolio