‘No university without community’: engaging the community in social work simulations

Publication Name

Higher Education Research and Development


Although community engagement is now a widely accepted part of universities’ agenda, the evidence of learning environments that allow students to gain new knowledge and skills through authentic partnership and reciprocity with community members remains sporadic. Guided by educational and community engagement scholarship, the study examined the involvement of community members in social work simulations at an Australian university. Based on reflexive thematic analysis of focus groups and interviews with community members and university staff who participated in social work simulations, four qualities of practice learning were identified: (1) the value of lived experience and expertise; (2) the importance of preparation for professional practice; (3) dedication of time and resources; and (4) guided by the impacts for community members. Taking a critical perspective, community-engaged teaching recognizes and values the communal aspects of knowing and learning, understood through an examination of teaching and learning and community engagement theory.

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Link to publisher version (DOI)