Year
2021
Units
4.5
Contact
1 x 1-hour lecture weekly
1 x 1-hour tutorial weekly
Prerequisites
1 SOAD1008 - Reasons for Social Work
1a SOAD1004 - Introduction to Social Work
Must Satisfy: ((1 or 1a))
Enrolment not permitted
SOAD2013 has been successfully completed
Assumed knowledge
Be able to draw upon own experiences as members of groups and organisations.
Assessment
Presentation, Project, Reflective piece
Topic description

This topic examines the nature of practice and the role of social workers in relation to groups, including professional, organizational and community groups. Recognising a common systems theory base, the topic will explore the various concepts, theories and models that have been developed for working with groups. Exploring how groups function, the various responses to task and ambiguity-related anxiety and role of leadership within them. It will draw upon the literature of organisational studies and group relations. Students will be invited to participate in and reflect upon experiential group experiences as an important part of learning about groups. Case studies and learning activities will be used to demonstrate the integration of theory with practice.

Educational aims

This topic aims to:

  • Increase students' familiarity with methods used with organisational systems and small group systems, recognising the commonalities of principles and techniques as well as areas of more specialised knowledge and skill
  • Orient students to the benefits of working with clients and other professionals through the use of small groups
  • Explore the role of the social worker within groups and the dynamics of group and inter-group behaviour
  • Provide an opportunity to understand and explore the role of leadership in relation to sustaining group tasks and learning
  • Provide opportunities for critical reflection of students on their role as actors in both groups and organisations
  • Analyse and evaluate both the encouragers of, and the inhibitors to, inter-personal, inter-group and inter-organisational collaboration
  • Assess the arguments for inter-organisational and inter-professional collaboration

The process of developing knowledge and guiding principles for any social work practice involves concentration on personal as well as external factors. Self-reflection and critical analysis of practice situations are essential for understanding, informing and improving one's practice. This is a challenging activity that requires consistent effort, disciplined attention and support. Opportunities will be provided during this topic to develop capacity in these areas.

Expected learning outcomes
On completion of this topic you will be expected to be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the contribution of Group Relations to understanding group dynamics
  2. Demonstrate their ability to use group work approaches in social work practice
  3. Have an understanding of the role of leadership in relation to sustaining group tasks and learning
  4. Analyse and evaluate both the encouragers of, and the inhibitors to, inter-personal, inter-group and inter-organisational collaboration
  5. Demonstrate a critically reflexive understanding of themselves as actors with both groups and systems

Key dates and timetable

(1), (2)

Each class is numbered in brackets.
Where more than one class is offered, students normally attend only one.

Classes are held weekly unless otherwise indicated.

FULL

If you are enrolled for this topic, but all classes for one of the activities (eg tutorials) are full,
contact your College Office for assistance. Full classes frequently occur near the start of semester.

Students may still enrol in topics with full classes as more places will be made available as needed.

If this padlock appears next to an activity name (eg Lecture), then class registration is closed for this activity.

Class registration normally closes at the end of week 2 of each semester.

Classes in a stream are grouped so that the same students attend all classes in that stream.
Registration in the stream will result in registration in all classes.
  Unless otherwise advised, classes are not held during semester breaks or on public holidays.