Change the world

Centre for the Community School

Project Summary: Co- construction of a sustainable programme for social work students doing practicum in schools
 
Project Contact Person: Bruce Damons 
Contact Number: 081 311 4249  and 041 504 3895
Email Address: Bruce.Damons@mandela.ac.za
 
What is the project about?
 
The Centre for the Community School (CCS), has been tasked with developing alternative approaches to school improvement that are relevant and responsive to the contextual realities of under-served schools and communities in the country. 
Taking into consideration the numerous contextual barriers, in particular the psychosocial impact, to effective schooling in South Africa, the CCS is collaborating with the Department of Social Development Professions (SDP), Nelson Mandela University. 
 
The collaboration entails placing and supporting social work students in schools, to determine what sort of service can be provided to support these schools and communities, and to afford the social work students an opportunity to complete their practicum.
The Centre for the Community School (CCS) and Department of Social Development Professions (SDP) have collaborated with the two schools, one a primary and the other a high school, located in the same poor working class context but in two different geographic and politically historic context of the Metro. 
 
The primary school, Charles Duna, is located in New Brighton and the high school, Sanctor, is located in the Northern Areas of the Metro. 
The collaboration started in 2017 through the fulltime placement of two 4th year students in the CCS to complete their practicum. The macro assessment, which forms part of the practicum, was research to determine the challenges confronting the social work student placement programme in schools. One of the findings, among others, was the need to place more than one student at a school to be able to deal with the myriad of challenges the social work students have to contend with in these schools.
Based on the finding it was agreed that we would pilot a programme placing groups of social work students, to complete the practicum, at two schools in the Metro. The pilot will seek to explore the effectiveness and efficiency of such a programme to inform future placement of students at schools.
 
Aim of the project
  • The co- construction of a sustainable programme for social work students doing practicum in schools
  • The CCS will provide the necessary support to allow the students to meet the practicum requirements and facilitate the creation of a memorandum of understanding (MOU), which will form the basis of future collaboration between the CCS and the Social Development Professions.
Stakeholders/ Participants Of The Action Learning Set
  • 7 students from different geographic placements in the Metro
  • 2 SDP students placed in CCS
  • The supervisor of the students in the CCS
  • One principal of a school hosting SDP students
  • One educator of a school hosting SDP students
  • The fourth year practicum coordinator
  • * A school not within the geographic placement of SDP student