A Social Work Intervention’s Effects on the Improvement of School Culture

Shorena Sadzaglishvili, Nelly Akobia, Nino Shatberashvili, Ketevan Gigineishvili

OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to test school social work intervention using participatory research approach in two Georgian schools. THEORETICAL BASE: This approach links theory and practice and empowers participants through self-consciousness raising, and as well it emphasizes practitioner action for change in conjunction with rigorous reflection on practice and careful gathering and analysis of data. METHODS: The mixed methodology was used for collecting data from schools. Quantitative data were gathered at both schools in the total of 4 pilot classes (81students of elementary grades), which had children with special educational needs (CSEN). The qualitative study involved students in upper grades, administration representatives, as well as parents and teachers of students from all grades. The effects of intervention were analyzed using pre and post intervention design. OUTCOMES: The study revealed statistically significant changes in terms of improvements in the class climate/school culture. SOCIAL WORK IMPLICATIONS: The outcomes of the present study indicate that social work intervention in schools is effective. It is important for schools to have social workers who will work to enhance the psycho-emotional and social well being of students, as well as to improve the school climate and the work undertaken with families and the community.

school culture, class climate, participatory action research, children with special educational needs, bullying, inclusive education, social work intervention