Gaming Social Work History – Increasing Motivation in an Unloved Field of Students’ Professional Development

Jutta Harrer-Amersdorffer, Robert Lehmann

Jutta Harrer-Amersdorffer, Master’s in social work and also a PhD student at the Faculty of Social Studies, University of Ostrava (Czech Republic). Her research focuses on the professional actions in social work, especially in the fields of youth care. She is also a research associate at the Faculty of Applied Science and Humanities at the University of Applied Science in Augsburg.

Robert Lehmann is professor of social work at the Nuremberg Institute of Technology and the academic director of the Institute for E-Counseling. His research interests are history, digitalization and impact research of social work.


OBJECTIVES: The requirements regarding professional social work are constantly increasing. The development of a professional identity, which goes hand in hand with a comprehensive ability to reflect, is only one of the aspects mentioned in the international definition. To this end, the examination of the history of social work during the course of study appears to be meaningful and important for many reasons. THEORETICAL BASE: It is precisely this topic that proves to be particularly complex. Based on the increasing requirements on social work, another attempt is made through analyzing social work history in an overarching framework. METHODS: As important the topic seems to be for professional development, for students the analysis of the history of social work is yet often a necessary evil during undergraduate studies. OUTCOMES: Current study results clarify that students do not have a comprehensive professional identity. SOCIAL WORK IMPLICATIONS: Using the concept of gamification for the imparting of knowledge about the history of social work could be a “game changer”.

social work history, Germany, professionalization, professional identity, gamification, university teaching

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