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Social Work Research and Evaluation
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Social Work Research and Evaluation
Examined Practice for Action



July 2016 | 344 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Social Work Research and Evaluation applies systematically developed research knowledge to social work practice and emphasizes the “doing” of social work as a reciprocal avenue for generating research evidence and social work knowledge. Using the Examined Practice Model, authors Elizabeth G. DePoy and Stephen F. Gilson present research as the identification of a problem and then proceed to evaluate the efficacy of social work practice in its resolution. Diverse theories, actions, and sets of evidence from a range of professional and disciplinary perspectives are included to underscore the importance of integrating evaluation and practice in research.

 
Chapter 1: Introduction to Examined Practice
Introduction to the Rationale for the Text

 
Illustration of Examined Practice in Diverse Social Work Settings

 
Roles and Responsibilities of “Examined Practitioners”

 
 
Chapter 2: Problems, Issues and Needs (What, Why, How, When, Where)
Definition of Terms

 
Thinking Processes of Problem and Issue Clarification

 
Grounding Needs in Problem and Issues to be Resolved

 
 
Chapter 3: Setting Goals and Objectives for Reflexive Intervention
Emergence of Goals and Objectives from Needs Statement

 
Deriving Goals From Need Statements

 
Action Process of Crafting Process Objectives

 
Action Process of Crafting Outcome Objectives

 
Charting Outputs

 
Systematic Reflexive Intervention Processes

 
Using the Three Traditions (Experimental-type, Naturalistic, Mixed Methods) in Reflexive Intervention

 
Selecting a Tradition—Guiding Questions

 
Illustration

 
 
Chapter 4: Exploring Outcomes
Definition of Terms

 
Purposes of Outcome Assessment

 
Worth of Social Work

 
Systematic Inquiry Using One or More of the Three Research Traditions

 
Cost of Interventions

 
 
Chapter 5: Sharing Examined Practice to Generate Social Work Knowledge
Definition of Terms

 
Examples of Sharing Knowledge

 
Sharing Social Work Knowledge

 
The Science-Intuition Debate

 
Why Share?

 
When to Share?

 
Where to Share?

 
How to Share?

 
 
Chapter 6: Two Design Traditions and then Mixing Them
Philosophical Foundation of Experimental-Type Research

 
Philosophical Foundation of Naturalistic Inquiry

 
Philosophical Foundation of Mixed Methods

 
Implications of Philosophical Differences for Systematic Inquiry in Examined Practice

 
Theory in Examined Practice

 
Integrating the Two Research Traditions

 
 
Chapter 7: The Role of Literature in Examined Practice
Purposes of Literature Review in Examined Practice

 
How to Conduct a Literature Search

 
 
Chapter 8: Questions, Hypotheses and Queries: The basis for Rigor Assessment
Research Questions in Experimental-Type Knowing

 
Level 1: Questions That Seek to Describe Phenomena

 
Level 2: Questions That Explore Relationships Among Phenomena

 
Level 3: Questions That Test Knowledge

 
Hypotheses

 
Research Queries in Naturalistic Inquiry

 
Developing Naturalistic Research Queries

 
Integrating Research Approaches

 
 
Chapter 9: Design in Both Traditions
Specific Experimental-Type Designs

 
Variations of Experimental-Type Design

 
Geographic Analysis

 
Criteria for Selecting Appropriate and Adequate Experimental-Type Designs

 
Summary of Experimental-Type Design

 
Naturalistic Inquiry Designs

 
Narrative Inquiry

 
Mixed-Method Designs

 
 
Chapter 10: Setting and Protecting the Boundaries of a Study
General Guidelines for Bounding Studies

 
Subjects, Respondents, Informants, Participants, Locations, Conceptual Boundaries, Virtual Boundaries

 
Protecting Boundaries

 
What is an IRB and When Must It Be Involved?

 
Principles for Protecting Human Subjects

 
Full Disclosure

 
Confidentiality

 
Voluntary Participation

 
The Belmont Report

 
Informed Consent Process

 
Boundary Setting in Experimental-Type Examined Practice Inquiry

 
Sampling Process

 
Probability Sampling

 
Nonprobability Methods

 
Sampling in the Virtual Environment

 
Comparing Sample to Population

 
Determining Sample Size

 
Boundary Setting in Naturalistic Inquiry

 
Guidelines for Determining “How Many”

 
Process of Setting Boundaries and Selecting Informants

 
Ethical Considerations

 
Summary of Naturalistic Boundary Setting

 
A Few Words About Mixed Methods

 
 
Chapter 11: Obtaining Information
Principles of Information Collection in All Three Traditions

 
Looking, Watching, Listening, Reading, and Recording

 
Asking

 
Materials, Artifacts, or Spaces

 
Obtaining Information in Experimental-Type Traditions

 
Obtaining Information in Naturalistic Traditions

 
Information-Gathering Processes

 
Information-Gathering Strategies

 
Recording Obtained Information

 
Accuracy in Collecting Information

 
Mixing Methods

 
 
Chapter 12: Analysis
What Is Statistical Analysis?

 
Level 1: Descriptive Statistics

 
Level 2: Drawing Inferences

 
Level 3: Associations and Relationships

 
Strategies and Stages in Naturalistic Analysis

 
Stage One: Inception of Inquiry

 
Stage Two: Formal Report Preparation

 
Accuracy and Rigor in Naturalistic Analysis

 
 
Chapter 13: Putting the Model to Work
Themes

 
Exemplar #1—Janice

 
Exemplar #2—Dean

 
Exemplar #3—TAP (Tobacco Access Portal)

 
Exemplar #4—Aesthetic Mobility Device Project

 
Exemplar #5—Workplace Accessibility

 
 
Glossary
 
Index

“Within my 38 years of teaching, the authors offer the most creative presentation I have ever read for a research methods text.”

Stephen Marson
Wake Forest University

“Breaks down research methods into easily digestible pieces for both instructors and students.”

Nicole M. Cavanagh
University of South Carolina
Key features
KEY FEATURES:

  • The Examined Practice Model takes students through the full sequence of social work evaluation research, from problem definition to sharing knowledge outcomes, to help students integrate research and practice.
  • A unique cognitive mapping tool links the possible causes and consequences of problems together to identify opportunities for professional activity, collaboration, and evaluation in any domain of social work practice.
  • Five easy-to-understand, detailed case examples illustrate how research, thinking, and action are linked to practice.
  • Presentation of the “social worker as knowledge creator” demonstrates that systematic capture of the practice of social work provides the knowledge base of the profession.
  • The final chapter details each of the text’s case examples from the beginning to the end of the Model to demonstrate examined practice throughout all phases of social work.



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