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Type: Journal article
Title: Planting a seed: encouraging service users towards educational goals
Author: Jarldorn, M.
Beddoe, E.
Fraser, H.
Michell, D.
Citation: Social Work Education, 2015; 34(8):921-935
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Issue Date: 2015
ISSN: 0261-5479
Statement of
Michele Jarldorn, Liz Beddoe, Heather Fraser & Dee Michell
Abstract: Some interventions by social workers, teachers and parents take time to develop but can produce, in the longer term, powerful and unexpectedly positive results. We were reminded of this in 2013, when we undertook a small qualitative study where we used feminist memory work to explore the experiences of 11 women from low socio-economic backgrounds studying social sciences at an Australian university. Of the eleven participants, seven were from social work. When asked to remember their journey into tertiary education, the women revealed memorable encounters with social workers, teachers and parents, the impact of which had lasted well into the future. We use the gardening metaphor of ‘planting a seed’ to refer to interventions that may not blossom in the short term but can bear fruit months or years later. Yet, we also note that ‘seeds of doubt’ can be planted too. We conclude by suggesting that planting seeds of possibility is a worthy but potentially overlooked professional activity. Yet, since ours is a small study, further research is warranted to explore the influence of social workers who plant seeds of possibility and whose actions help to recruit and retain socially disadvantaged students in higher education.
Keywords: longer term interventions; feminist memory work; working-class women in higher education; student poverty
Rights: © 2015 Taylor & Francis
RMID: 0030037813
DOI: 10.1080/02615479.2015.1098607
Appears in Collections:Gender Studies and Social Analysis publications

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