Close menu


Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

Facilitated Practice-based Research: An Empowering Pedagogical Approach to Reframe Research Capacity in Social Work Practitioners

Deacon, Lesley, Phillips, Carrie and Bikova, Zeta (2023) Facilitated Practice-based Research: An Empowering Pedagogical Approach to Reframe Research Capacity in Social Work Practitioners. In: JSWEC 2023, 15-16/06/2023, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Lecture)


Introduction: This oral paper presents findings from an ongoing long-term Participatory Action Research Project which questions: how can we bridge the gap between social work research and practice?
Aims and Objectives: Utilising Bourdieu's field theory, it is posited that social work students, practitioners and educators have essential research skills and knowledge, but do not possess the symbolic capital to reframe these in the field of social work research and thus are habituated into research anxiety. FPR, a flexible empowerment model, was developed and tested in collaboration with three local organisations as a potential solution. It includes a short, intensive research-mindedness teaching programme structured around a bespoke group practice research project, where research terminology is temporarily moved aside while practice skills are re-framed.
Methods: FPR has so far been fully tested with three organisations: in person with a Local Charity (n=4); online with a national charity (n=3); and online with children’s services practitioners at a Local Authority (n=5). Three focus groups (n=10) were then completed with practitioners who participated in these FPR programmes.
Findings: Findings suggest practitioners do habituate research anxiety; they can conduct research but name it differently, and their research confidence needs development through recognising it and beginning to name their work as research.
Conclusion: It is concluded that, based on the evidence, FPR is an effective approach in addressing research anxiety in practitioners. However, it is not a quick fix but requires sustainable commitment from both practitioners and organisations.
Implications for Practice: It is argued that if research anxiety in practitioners is not addressed by reframing their capital, opportunities could be missed for further embedding and sustaining research into social work practice.

[img] Microsoft PowerPoint (JSWEC Presentation - FPR)
JSWEC Glasgow - 2023.pptx

Download (2MB)

More Information

Depositing User: Lesley Deacon


Item ID: 16338

Users with ORCIDS

ORCID for Lesley Deacon: ORCID iD
ORCID for Carrie Phillips: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 07 Jul 2023 14:38
Last Modified: 07 Jul 2023 14:38


Author: Lesley Deacon ORCID iD
Author: Carrie Phillips ORCID iD
Author: Zeta Bikova

University Divisions

Faculty of Education and Society > School of Social Sciences


Social Sciences

Actions (login required)

View Item (Repository Staff Only) View Item (Repository Staff Only)