social work research and practice

Another post I made on a research forum I’m in for a graduate class  (Be forewarned: As said forum seems to be the only place i get to do a bit of writing in these days, i’ll be posting a copy of most entries here.):

“Indeed we need to be proactive in breaking down the walls created by these myths, preventing social workers from embracing research as a necessary component of direct practice. We are generally keen and much more comfortable feeling our way through practice, relying on our personal (read: subjective) experiences, relationships and interpretations in our effort to understand and address social realities. I myself have previously been guilty of having an automatic aversion to “cold” research, seeing it as a distant, irrelevant undertaking that reduces the dynamic realities of the world into figures and tables that have no bearing in truly grasping and responding to real-world situations with all its nuances. I’ve been learning, though, from actual practice, that research done well actually complements subjective experience by enabling a practitioner either to take a step back from the trees and have a view of the bigger forest (e.g., study trends and apply learning to enhance practice); or to look more closely into particular trees from a different perspective or using a different lens (i.e., scientific tools and methodologies).Thus if we are to keep improving in social work direct practice we ought to have a high level of appreciation for research, and a keen desire to learn to do it well and to optimize its benefits.”

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