Volume 1, Issue 4, November, 2014  

ISSN 2201-1323



Innovation in Social Work and its Impact on Social Management

Johannes Eurich, Institute for the Study of Christian Social Services (DWI) Heidelberg University and Andreas Langer, University of applied sciences Hamburg / Deutsches  Institut für Sozialwirtschaft. (Pages 27 to 40)

This article shows the diversity of drivers for social services, including demographic change, changing social roles, consequences of lifestyles, changed attitudes and expectations, progress in the field of science and technology, new forms of management and new organizational forms as well as changes in social politics. At the same time, innovations in social services have significant effects on different levels: users, quality, organizations, cooperation, financing, sustainability, social politics and values. On the basis of the results of a two-year study seven innovation trends observed in social services all over Europe will be presented and their impact on social management will be explained in this article. It becomes clear that innovation in social services is a complex process, in which business concepts are transferred and adapted to social-economic conditions, which results in the constant re-negotiation of the underlying conditions and the involvement of external actors.  


A Social Work Approach to Social Innovation

Stephanie C. Berzin and  Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes Boston College School of Social Work, Chestnut Hill, MA, USA.  02467  (Pages 7 to 18)

The Institute of the Future has identified several megatrends expected to shape the socio-economic and political problems and opportunities over the next century (Johansen, 2009). These include new forms of demographic-social-economic diasporas that result in fundamental shifts; new paradigms of roles and responsibilities for civil society; changes in the demand for/supply of food; threats to the ecosystem; and changes in longevity, health, and the social-developmental dimensions of life experiences.  The confluence of these and other trends, such as the continuing increase in economic equalities, means many social problems will become even more complex and with solutions remaining elusive. Some experts suggest that the task of tackling social problems has become even more challenging in recent years because many long-standing sources of financial support are no longer available to organizations that want to address the problems. The economic recession has had a significant impact on the funding of social services, with the decline of public and philanthropic support and the failure to keep up with increased demand for services (Husch, 2011; Lawrence & Mukai, 2011). There has become increased need for revenue diversification strategies and the development of strategic partnerships to enable nonprofits to survive (Kirkman, 2012). Further, blurring of public-private boundaries has created challenges and opportunities for rethinking traditional solutions to solutions to social problems (Chell, Nicolopoulou, & Karataş-Özkan, 2010). Given this climate, there is a compelling need to develop innovative, sustainable solutions to respond to challenging social problems. This paper argues social workers must become engaged in 21st century approaches to practice, planning, administration, policy, and community development. 


Social work and innovation – an oxymoron? 

Lisa Pattoni and Alison PetchInstitute for Research and Innovation in Social Services, Glasgow, UK. (Pages 75 to 90)

Public services as a whole are facing their most serious challenges since the inception of the welfare state.  Demand for support is set to increase dramatically, not only due to demographic changes, but also because of the failure to tackle the root causes of disadvantage and vulnerability (and associated) consequences. Against this backcloth, the Scottish Government has implemented a reform agenda with innovation and ‘thinking differently’ at its heart. However, the associated risks of introducing a new service or model of practice in social services are many and variable. At its worst, innovation has the potential to impact adversely upon the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in society; it may also turn out to be more costly, to have unintended consequences or to just not work. Accordingly, this avoidance of risk in social services has to some extent become synonymous with avoiding innovation. In this article, the authors ask, can social services embrace innovation or is this indeed a contradiction in terms.  


Knowledge building for practice: resilience in social work student engagement.

 Susan Mlcek, Charles Sturt University, and Venkat PullaAustralian Catholic University, Australia. (Pages 57 to 74)

 This paper provides an exploration of building resilience for social work through the design and delivery of first-year university curriculum. Social workers involved in social justice/social change contexts require a high degree of resilience and ingenuity in being able to adapt to the profession’s complexities. This is not a definitional or scientific undertaking, but rather a response to both fragility and creativity of human endeavour. In many social work programs there are subject choices that mean little to the incoming student. A first-year enrolment pattern could include a first-level communication subject alongside a second or third-level cross-cultural counselling one. The skills required for such engagement are multi-layered, and similar to a process the authors identify as simultaneous cross-adjustment in ‘bouncing back’ from adversity.  They argue that building knowledge and resilience from first-year ‘vulnerability’ in the foundation year will foster relevant coping mechanisms despite initial misgivings from both students and educators. 


(Opinion Piece) What Insight can a Family Lawyer Bring to a Discussion about the Future of Our Society?

Heather McKinnonPractice Group Leader, Slater and Gordon Lawyers, Australia (Pages 52 to 56)

Family lawyers are at the coal face of the constantly free changing nature of the concept of family in western society.  In the three decades that I have been in practice there have been some significant shifts in the way we understand the concept of family and those shifts have had major ramifications on the way we organise our society.  In 1982 when I entered legal practice in Australia it was very rare for young couples to live together before they married.   There was seismic shift in attitudes to cohabitation and by the late 1980’s the large percentage of Australia couples who decided to marry lived together for at least 6 months prior to their wedding.  As the decade progressed it also became more common for couples to make the decision not to marry but to live together in permanent de-facto relationships. In this opinion piece the author examines this circumstance from a family law practitioner perspective. 


Investigation of Scientific Creativity of Eighth Grade Gifted Students

Aliye Hilal CevherInonu UniversityPelin ErtekinInonu University and Mustafa Serdar KoksalInonu University, Turkey. (Pages 19 to 26)

The purpose of this study is to investigate scientific creativity of eighth grade gifted students. Participants of the study included purposefully selected 20 eighth grade gifted students. They were applied WISC-R and they scored higher than 120 in order to be identified as gifted. After their selection, Scientific Creativity Test was applied to them. Therefore their scores were analyzed in terms of four aspects of creativity; fluency, flexibility, originality and elaboration. The mean of total scores (9.51) of the participants showed that scientific creativity levels of the participants were at average level but their scores on originality and elaboration factors were not enough to produce creative ideas. These findings are evidence for need of improving two factors of scientific creativity. 


Coaching and Mentoring: A review of literature as it relates to teacher professional development.

Richard Smith and David LynchSouthern Cross University, Australia. (Pages 91 to 103)

 In recent years, mentoring has become a feature of the business world. It is used in the induction of new staff into the culture of the organization, to improve communication between different levels of management, and to encourage access for traditionally excluded groups from senior management positions. The interest in other professions such as Medicine, Nursing, and Education has followed.  In this paper we review coaching and mentoring literature to provide an insight into its potential for the professional development of teachers.


Education Looking Backward: Maxim Vengerov Shows It Might Just Be to Our Advantage

Yaron VansoverKibbutzim College of Education, Tel-Aviv, Israel (Pages 139 to 151)

 The twenty-first century poses new challenges for educational professionals. They must prepare students for the new century and provide them with the appropriate skills: twenty-first century skills. A common assumption is that these skills can be attained by new educational methods, using the pedagogy of the new century. This pedagogy is tied, inter alia, to a transfer from "teacher centered" teaching, which is perceived as leading to superficial and shallow learning, to "student centered"  teaching methods which are considered as leading to deep and significant learning. The present article contemplates this change and wonders whether we may also use older teaching methods to achieve these skills. In order to support this consideration, the article investigates teaching methods common in places distant from school classrooms – musical master classes. These are places where learning takes place, where teaching takes place, where perhaps there is no place more characteristic of a "teacher centered pedagogy" and, lo and behold, a place where deep and significant learning is created for the future generation of stars of the world of music.      


Raising Student Achievement: The work of the Internationally Minded Teacher

Jake Madden,  Dar Al Marefa Private School, Dubai, UAE. (Pages 41 to 51)

The purpose of this paper is to introduce one principal’s transference of experience from one school to an international setting. Although in the early phase, the discussion begins with a brief discourse on multicultural education and the nature of the international school setting. It then introduces a concise overview of a staff professional development outline that could be adapted by principals in various school settings.


Effects of E-content Strategy and its Interaction Among Students Belonging to Different Intelligence Groups

Suman Rani Assistant Professor, Govt. College of Education, Sector-20D, Chandigarh.(Pages 104 to 116)

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of E-Content treatment, intelligence, and their interaction on achievement in science by considering pre-achievement in science as covariate. The E-Content in the integrated form of text, graphics, animation, audio, video, and interactivity for class VI science was developed by the investigator. The independent variables were E-Content strategy and Conventional strategy of teaching science. The intervening variable was intelligence. The control variables were nature of school, grade level, and subject taught. The dependent variable was achievement in science. It was a Pre-test Post-test control group design. Data collected were analysed using t-test and ANCOVA. Results showed that the E-Content has improved science achievement significantly higher in comparison to conventional strategy when groups were matched on Pre-achievement in Science. Further, a significant effect of interaction between treatment and intelligence was found on achievement in Science when Pre-achievement in Science was taken as covariate. On the whole for both Above Average Intelligence as well as Below Average Intelligence students E-Content was the most suitable when groups were matched in respect of Pre-Achievement in Science. However, E-Content strategy was more beneficial to Below Average Intelligence students when Pre-Achievement in Science was taken as covariate.


Idea Generation Among Bank Employees: An exploratory survey

 Elvira TomicEducation, Research & Training Consultants, The Netherlands (Pages 117 to 138)

The present study investigated where and in what way bank employees generate ideas connected with their work environment. Employees (N = 368) were asked about (1) preferred environments, media, people and activities before generating ideas, about (2) environments, time and situation while generating ideas, and (3) what activities they typically and spontaneously do next after they have had an idea. The results show a clear preponderance of significant differences between female and male mean scores with respect to generating ideas. Quite a number of medium to large effect sizes were observed. The study shows that the questionnaire could be used successfully to gather information on the way in which employees generate ideas. It also illustrates the significance of breaking down the process of generating ideas into three episodes or moments, i.e., before, during, and after an idea is created. Important methodological weaknesses observed in prior studies on idea generating were corrected. The study underlines the importance of generating ideas in the work environment. It has produced a few findings that need to be investigated further. The limitations for this study are addressed and the recommendations for future research are detailed.



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