Consideration of practice education within a regional teaching partnership employing a communities of practice lens

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This paper on practice education within a regional Teaching Partnership emanated from requests to consider how to progress its role and remit. It offers analysis of practice education within this context which may act as a starting point for exploring a broader understanding of practice education and its role in practice learning, supervision, recruitment and retention in England. This paper has materialised at a time of significant change, when the National Accreditation and Assessment System is anticipated and the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF) and Practice Educator Professional Standards for Social Work (PEPS) are under review. It proposes an expanded role for practice education that could situate it as pivotal to promoting standards of supervision and cultures of learning within such changing contexts. A ‘communities of practice’ lens and a framework based on Caspi’s notions of structure, content and process are utilised to explore options for progress. This paper recognises that practice education, as both enterprise and system, is complex and messy and thus cautions against conceptualising it in simplistic terms. It concludes with suggestions to advance practice education and areas for further research. These are founded on establishing specialist practice educators and communities of practice within an overarching practice education consortium.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-186
Number of pages24
Issue number3
Early online date21 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - 27 May 2019


  • practice educators
  • social work
  • Communities of Practice
  • Social Work Education
  • practice education
  • continuous professional development
  • supervision
  • recruitment and retention
  • teaching partnerships
  • leadership through knowledge
  • communities of practice
  • teaching partnership

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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