Tacit and codified knowledge in social work: A critique of standardization in education and practice

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16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Professional social work education has had a long trajectory in the United States. The nature of knowledge, its dissemination, and the way in which it shapes the expectations of professionals have changed through the years. The structure and standards for professional programs have been molded according to those changes. This article examines the progression of social work education, from preparation for a cause or an artistic undertaking, based primarily on tacit knowledge, to preparation for a technological undertaking or market endeavor, which requires codified knowledge. The connection between educational standards and ways of thinking and knowing is also explored. The authors propose that standardization and homogenization in social work education detract from a more creative and imaginative practice, which has been a valuable hallmark of social work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)534-542
Number of pages9
JournalFamilies in Society
Volume88
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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