Reflective Practice in the Czech Republic and Its Consequences for Education in Social Work

Pavel Navratil, Hana Pazlarova, Tatiana Matulayova, Oldrich Matousek

OBJECTIVES: The aim is to answer whether and how the reflective concept of social work is represented in the empirical attitudes of social workers and what consequences these representations could have for the higher education of social workers. THEORETICAL BASE: We draw from the theory of reflective practice (Schön, 1983). Its characteristic is that it integrates some opposing tendencies (e.g. theory-practice) that workers face (Fook, 2007). In the Czech Republic, we do not have enough empirical studies that analyze it. METHODS: We used quantitative strategy for research. Data collection was carried out in the form of a stratified sample survey. We talked to social workers working in the social services and those who work in organizations regulated by the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, and in municipalities, obtaining 689 valid questionnaires. OUTCOMES: The fundamental finding is that social workers in the Czech Republic use elements of reflective practice. For example, it is an effort to partner with clients in choosing the goals and tools of intervention, the use of various forms of (self) reflection and taking responsibility for their professional growth. SOCIAL WORK IMPLICATIONS: The findings provide a fundamental picture of the development of Czech social work. Over the past thirty years, there has been a transition from social work’s paternalistic position to more open reflective forms of practice. We believe that this is good news, but it is also an important finding in terms of further shaping the educational strategy.

reflective practice, social work approaches, partnership, reflection, contexts, profession

p. 61-83

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