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Knowing or un-knowing?: that is the question in the era of evidence-based social work practice
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
2009 (English)In: Journal of Social Work, ISSN 1468-0173, E-ISSN 1741-296X, Vol. 9, no 2, 158-177 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Summary: A present trend in social work is the focus on evidence-based knowledge. This kind of knowledge does fill a purpose, but is not sufficient on its own. The article argues that social workers need a complement to knowing, and this approach could be conceptualized as un-knowing. In this article, a theory of un-knowing for social work practice is outlined. This implies a theoretical scrutiny of knowing and un-knowing and a discussion of how it can be used in practice. Moreover, the article presents findings from an empirical study of social work students who describe their usage of different forms of knowledge reflexively.

Findings: The article presents the results of a study in which social work students' usage of different forms of knowledge in their field studies was examined. The results demonstrate that social work students use different forms of knowledge in practice, and un-knowing is one of the actively used forms. Women tend to use un-knowing somewhat more than men.

Applications : The article is a contribution to the ongoing debate on evidence-based practice in social work. It is argued that it is important to teach social work students to understand un-knowing in theory and to use it in practice, and in combination with other forms of knowledge in social work.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage , 2009. Vol. 9, no 2, 158-177 p.
Keyword [en]
critical realism EBP evidence knowing un-knowing
National Category
Social Work
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-21267DOI: 10.1177/1468017308101820ISI: 000280716700003OAI: diva2:211226

Ingår i Virtual Special Issue produced by Journal of Social Work: Knowledge and social work: perspectives from the archives. Article collection edited by David Stanley.

Available from: 2009-04-09 Created: 2009-04-09 Last updated: 2014-10-10Bibliographically approved

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