Research mindedness resource

Learning route

This learning resource is intended for use by both social work and social care practitioners and students. It is designed with an introductory page at the start of each section with more that can be dipped into at any point. However, it is sometimes difficult to decide where to start reading first.

This learning route is here, therefore, to assist you with finding the subject areas that might be useful for you, and suggest an order in which to work through them. This is for guidance purposes only. You may navigate your way through the resource content to suit your individual preferences. It is also recognised that students and practitioners may have different needs and interests, and the flexibility of this resource reflects this.

The sections have a variety of case studies and exercises embedded in them. The exercises are a tool to aid your learning about each aspect of being research-minded. The case studies provide a picture of the ways that research, combined with critical reflection, can make practice within particular contexts 'evidence-informed' (Gambrill 2008 ; Orme and Shemmings 2010)

The learning route

Trailway Focus Links to Professional Capabilities Framework
Introduction This introductory section includes some information about the site and a way to assess your current level of knowledge about research mindedness (the quiz).
Why be research-minded? This section explores what we mean by research mindedness, and the reasons that it is important to those who work in social care or social work.
Research in social work and social care Research is not a neutral activity and this section explores the contemporary social and policy context of research practice that you need to be aware of.
Making sense of research Understanding research can sometimes be confusing and different evidence on the same topic may seem to present contradictory findings. This section helps to increase your confidence in how to use research findings to inform your studies and practice.
Finding research A key skill in being research-minded is how to locate credible, up-to-date research findings and this section shows you the basic skills.