Promoting research literacy during the social work practicum


  • Jane Maidment School of Nursing and Human Services, Christ- church Polytechnic Institute of Technology.
  • Dominic Chilvers School of Nursing and Human Services, Christ- church Polytechnic Institute of Technology.
  • Yvonne Crichton-Hill Social Work & Human Service Programme, School of Social & Political Sciences at the University of Canterbury.
  • Karen Meadows-Taurua Formerly of the Social Work & Human Service Programme, School of Social & Political Sciences, University of Canterbury.



social work research, research literacy, social work education,


Recent research in New Zealand (Beddoe, 2010) and elsewhere (Joubert, 2006) has documented low levels of confidence amongst social work graduates in conducting applied social research. This article will examine the reasons why research literacy amongst students and graduates appears to be at a low ebb, and will report on the early developmental phases of a field education model being piloted in Christchurch, New Zealand, to promote knowledge and skill development in practice research. The process used for planning a suite of practice research placements is outlined, together with examining the application of the communities of practice model for facilitating this intervention. Practical strategies for including research learning objectives and activities are provided, with the view to encouraging routine inclusion of different tasks associated with systematic inquiry into all field placements. The evaluation design for the group of practice research placements is outlined with considerations of the project limitations and potential for future development. A second article on how the project progressed will be submitted later in 2012. 


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How to Cite

Maidment, J., Chilvers, D., Crichton-Hill, Y., & Meadows-Taurua, K. (2016). Promoting research literacy during the social work practicum. Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work, 23(4), 3–13.