Exploring Knowledge through Peer Tutoring in a Transitional Learning Community: An Alternative Way of Teaching Counseling Skills to Students in Social Work Education
Journal article, Peer reviewed
This is an electronic version of an article published in social work education 2011. social work education is available online at: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/ u r l: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02615479.2011.557431
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Original versionFougner, A. (2011). Exploring Knowledge through Peer Tutoring in a Transitional Learning Community: An Alternative Way of Teaching Counseling Skills to Students in Social Work Education. Social Work Education, 1-15. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02615479.2011.557431
Learning to be a professional child welfare worker involves learning counseling skills. In Norway, these skills have long been taught by teachers, but recent reforms in higher education initiated by the Bologna Process encourage giving more responsibility to students for their own learning. This paper describes one of these new initiatives—a peer tutoring program of counseling skills for students training to be child protection workers. Using the results of a series of questionnaires administered to and qualitative interviews with students who participated in the program from 2003 to 2009, this paper provides a summary account of the experiences of student tutees and tutors in the program— especially their evaluations of this alternative way of learning counseling skills. Analyses of the qualitative and quantitative data yielded by the study indicated that peer tutoring programs led to a number of positive effects, especially in terms of increased feelings of security and freedom in exploring different fields of knowledge. In addition, the program’s collaborative and dialogical processes worked to incorporate tutors and tutees into a transitional learning community.