An exploration of learning styles used by social work students: a systematic review
Frantz, Jose M.
Roman, Nicolette V.
de Jager, Mariana
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Social work educators are faced with the challenge of ensuring that students from diverse backgrounds are fully equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills. However, to be effective social work educators, the educator is required to understand the learning style of the student. The aim of this systematic review was to explore the learning styles of social work students for the purpose of understanding how to adapt and refine teaching strategies in social work. To this end, a search for descriptive studies in databases, which included Ebscohost (Academic Premier, CINAHL, SOcIndex, Psycharticles, Medline), DOAJ and Pubmed, was conducted. Eight articles met the criteria for inclusion in this systematic review. The target population included both undergraduate and postgraduate students. The studies were mainly conducted in developed countries. The results suggest that the most common approach for social workers is the diverging learning style, which entails having an interest in people, being aware of emotion, and a tendency to be imaginative. This review recommends that if there is an improved understanding of students’ learning needs then educators could adapt their teaching strategies to accommodate and support students from diverse backgrounds, with diverse learning needs.