ABSTRACT

Similarities between constructivist inquiry and social work practice Location of constructivist inquiry in the “ways of knowing” debate in

social work Philosophical and theoretical underpinnings of constructivism Challenges for social workers engaged in constructivist inquiry

What does constructivism offer social work? Why should a student or a researcher/practitioner care about the material in this text? The answer to both questions is that people who are drawn to a helping profession out of respect for the human condition and a desire to effectively aid those in need will see a practical congruence between social work practice and constructivist research. In constructivist methods they will recognize familiar social work practice skills. They will also see in constructivism the promise for the creation of meaningful knowledge to guide useful practice. Basically, constructivist inquiry provides a mechanism for producing rigorous and relevant information for social work interventions. This text is designed to aid the skilled practitioner to extend those social work practice skills into knowledge-building skills for professional practice.