Social Work Students' Preferences in Problem-Solving: A Study of Their Comparative Preferences Among the Methods of Knowing of Science, Authority, Intuition, and Tenacity When Confronted With a Social Problem Situation
The study seeks to explore the utilization of scientific methods of knowing by social workers, within the context of their occupational function. The social work function will be represented in the study by the construct of problem-solving. The particular groups studied are social workers in training in a graduate school of social work, i.e., students. While in its exploration the study examines the use of four different methods of knowing, the major focus is upon the scientific method. The study relates itself to the development of professionalization in social work. Central to this development is the movement of social work’s knowledge base from a system of beliefs to a system of objective standardization, i.e., science. In social work, however, science seems to receive emphasis in terms of method rather than content. The emphasis upon method would seem aligned to the considerable attention given in social work theory to the uniqueness of individuals and the multiplicity of causation in human behavior. Thus, the development of the profession becomes greatly dependent upon the refinement of methods of practice rather than the expansion of specific case-knowledge. It would seem then that the development of scientific methods are closely linked with the professionalization of social work. The development of scientific methods in social work would seem to be related also to the cultural situation within which social work exists. This is a culture giving high status ranking to the scientific. One observes, for example, social work literature and education placing considerable emphasis on the subject of social workers co-relating, or collaborating, with other disciplines. Such literature inevitably speaks of the need for communication and for inter-disciplinary respect. Communication and respect would seem, culturally, closely linked with social work’s comparative scientific status.
Warburton, John F. X, "Social Work Students' Preferences in Problem-Solving: A Study of Their Comparative Preferences Among the Methods of Knowing of Science, Authority, Intuition, and Tenacity When Confronted With a Social Problem Situation" (1968). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI30308713.