Stream 3 Applied Practice Research

Applied Practice Research

To facilitate the integration of research and practice in field education, students and postdoctoral scholars are being trained and mentored in applied practice research. This stream has created an International Practicum Survey and training modules, to better prepare students for international practicum. This stream will examine research-based practica and frameworks such as Research As Daily Practice, an approach to research in which practitioners are recognized and valued as researchers because they use inquiry processes to make quality decisions in their daily practice.

The working group leading this Stream includes:

Uzo Anucha (York), Julie Drolet (UC), Jill Hanley (McGill), Sheri McConnell (MU), Eileen McKee (UT), Sally St. George (UC), Daniel Wulff (UC)


We are recently retired professors from the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Calgary. We have been developing, writing, teaching, and actually “doing” what we have come to call Research As Daily Practice, which is a way, particularly suited for practitioners, to utilize the idea of research in the performance of their daily practice/work. We have proposed ways to see research principles as the same principles used in effective social work practice at any level and in any venue or site. Practitioners routinely focus on assessing information/data, organizing it, proposing plans to use it, taking actions in accordance with those plans, and then determine if those actions were effective. These are essentially the same steps involved in doing research, only languaged a bit differently.

We have been working with Dr. Julie Drolet for the past several years on the TFEL Project (Transforming the Field Education Landscape) to include Research As Daily Practice as a learning module with particular usefulness for social work field education. We believe that integrating research and practice is a value on par with integrating social work field with the social work curriculum. Here is the link to a webinar we produced on Research As Daily Practice for TFEL:

We have been teaching Research As Daily Practice in the master’s level research course for many years and always received very positive feedback from the students and a desire to learn more. Research As Daily Practice does not strive to supplant traditional research ideas, but rather, provide a way to see research in more relevant ways for practitioners so they might better utilize the traditional methods of research. Learning Research As Daily Practice provides an excellent scaffolding upon which to place traditional research ideas so that practitioners might make greater benefit of them.

We are now proposing that practicum students in Faculties of Social Work learn about and incorporate Research As Daily Practice into their field experience by trying it out based on a question or curiosity arising in their practicum experience and systematically designing a relevant way to learn about and improve their own practice. We think this could be a useful addition to the field seminars. To help with this infusion into practicum we would be happy to share the materials we have created about Research As Daily Practice (in addition to the webinar link we provided above, we have written numerous articles and chapters on this), be guests in practicum seminars as appropriate, and serve as consultants to students and seminar liaisons as students try out their ideas in their practicum settings. Then we would like to learn about their learning experiences of engaging in Research As Daily Practice while in the field component of their program.

We firmly believe that the positive feedback we have received about Research As Daily Practice could make it a welcome addition to research courses, field seminars, and field experiences. If this idea has some interest to you as field liaisons, we would love to talk with you more about it.

Dan Wulff and Sally St. George

Findings from Stream 3

Research as Daily Practice Literature Review

Authored by Lauren Birks, Dan Wulff and Sally St. George, this literature review of projects and efforts aimed at lessening or bridging the gap between professional practice and professional research was created to show where, in this world of knowledge, the authors’ idea of Research As Daily Practice fits in.

Literature Review (PDF)

Service Users Annotated Bibliography

A compilation of knowledge surrounding service user roles in social work education. The results show a lack of published articles on the role of service users in field education, a gap that TFEL hopes to fill by exploring how to involve service users in transforming social work field education.

Annotated Bibliography (PDF)

Webinars & Workshops

The State of Field Education and Emerging Best Practices: A Scoping Review

Presenters Professor Marion Bogo & Dr. Karen Sewell provided a scoping review of the contemporary evidence-basis of field education. Synthesizing the empirical literature (n = 99) provided them with an understanding of emerging trends and best practices that can guide field instructors and support schools of social work in strengthening field education. 

Zoom Recording

PowerPoint (PDF)


Research as Daily Practice

In this workshop, presenters described their ideas of “Research As Daily Practice”, defined as “systematically and reflectively examining our curiosities and ideas from our work in order to better understand what we do and what we could do.” The main tenet of this idea is that practitioners are, in fact, researchers by virtue of the way they practice. Presenters provided illustrations and opportunities to utilize this idea in a variety of front-line practice settings.

PowerPoint Slides (PDF)
Zoom Recording


Near Peer Mentorship Pilot Program + Field Image Showcase

This webinar presented the structure and lessons of the Near Peer Mentorship Program, which aimed to foster the growth and talent of social work students in a new mentorship program. This webinar will also feature the Field Image Showcase, which was an opportunity for social work students to showcase a unique experience in practicum, course work or research activities. 

PowerPoint Slides (PDF)

Zoom Recording


Practice Research Module in Field Education

This webinar highlighted practice research in social work field education. The topics of discussion included definitions of practice research, the integration of practice research in field education, and the understandings of practice research in diverse contexts.

Zoom Recording


The Role of Service Users in Social Work Education

This webinar was a presentation on the findings of a literature review, conducted on the role of service users in social work education. A discussion was facilitated on how service users have the potential to transform field education, prepare students for practice and expand learning in social work.

PowerPoint Slides (PDF)
Unity PowerPoint Slides (PDF)
Zoom Recording 


State of Social Work Field Education in Canada

This webinar was a presentation of the results of the survey on the State of Social Work Field Education in Canada. 

PowerPoint Slides (PDF)
Zoom Recording


Models for Integrating Research and Practice in Social Work Education

This workshop explored the models for research-based field practica and research projects/internships in undergraduate and graduate social work education. Presenters gave an overview of models for the integration of social work education research and practice, and provided examples of how to support research-based field practica and other internships/projects in a variety of practice settings. Past students, who have completed research-based practice learning, shared their experiential critical reflections.

PowerPoint Slides (PDF)
Zoom Recording

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