Differing Knowledges: Comparing the contribution of drama students and service users in role plays preparing social work students for practice

Joe Duffy*, Lorna Montgomery, Paul Murphy, Gavin Davidson, Lisa Bunting

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Much has been written about service user involvement in social work education with the literature recognising the value of this particular type of experiential knowledge in helping students understand key competences and concepts. There is also extensive literature highlighting the role of simulation in assisting social work students develop key insights in regard to skills and knowledge through role plays. Using a Cross-Over design, this paper compares the contribution of drama students with service users in the preparation of social work students for field practice in Northern Ireland. Our findings suggest there is an important role for both drama students and service users working collaboratively to help social work students develop in key areas of social work competence and have implications for social work education in an international context.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSocial Work Education
Early online date03 Feb 2020
Publication statusEarly online date - 03 Feb 2020



  • drama students
  • experiential knowledge
  • Service user involvement
  • simulation
  • social work education

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