‘No university without community’: engaging the community in social work simulations

Katarzyna Olcoń, Rugare Mugumbate, Mim Fox, Lynne Keevers, Nandini Ray, Jo Spangaro, Lesley Cooper

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Although community engagement is now a widely accepted part of universities’ agenda, the evidence of learning environments that allow students to gain new knowledge and skills through authentic partnership and reciprocity with community members remains sporadic. Guided by educational and community engagement scholarship, the study examined the involvement of community members in social work simulations at an Australian university. Based on reflexive thematic analysis of focus groups and interviews with community members and university staff who participated in social work simulations, four qualities of practice learning were identified: (1) the value of lived experience and expertise; (2) the importance of preparation for professional practice; (3) dedication of time and resources; and (4) guided by the impacts for community members. Taking a critical perspective, community-engaged teaching recognizes and values the communal aspects of knowing and learning, understood through an examination of teaching and learning and community engagement theory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2000-2014
Number of pages15
JournalHigher Education Research and Development
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes


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