PhD course in Reflective Processes in Social Work

Bakgrunnsbilde UiA


From Monday November 18th 2019 at 12:15
To Thursday November 21st 2019 at 16:00
Sunday September 15th 2019 at 00:00

Social work develops within local, national and global contexts. Reflectivity is to see and understand oneself within a context. Through this course students will reflect and theorize social workers understanding of her/himself and their practices. Students will reveal their subjectivity related to background, professional position and current PhD project.

Reflectivity in Social Work will be emphasized through discursive, ethical, narrative and critical processes. The aim of the course is to enable participants to strengthen their critical reflections and to increase understanding of situational and contextual practices. To enhance reflective processes the course will provide knowledge about ethical dimensions in Social Work, professional discretion, different discourses and narrative approaches.

Social Work consists of practices, teaching and research. Reflectivity is to see and understand oneself within a context, which is important in all modes of social work. Research is specifically focusing on how to develop new knowledge in social work. Doing research is to position oneself in the writings, and thus reveal subjectivity within a current PhD project. Studying contextual and situational practices within a PhD project, will be developed within a dialogue between theories and empirical data.  Discourse, ethics, theories of wondering, critical and discretion theories will be illuminated at this PhD course to help student to analyze empirical material and thus interpret theories for course participant.

  • Travel and accommodation
    Participants must arrange their own travel and accommodation.
  • ECTS
    The course is approved as 5 ECTS at UiA, provided that the written assignment is submitted and approved. There are no tuition fees.
  • Programme
    Detailed information on the programme will be published in May.

Please enter your registration here


From Monday November 18th 2019 at 12:15
To Thursday November 21st 2019 at 16:00
Sunday September 15th 2019 at 00:00


Last entry date is passed, you can no longer enter this event.



Week 47 - 18th – 21st of November 2019

Monday 18th November:

12.15 - 13.00:            Opening, course introduction, paper writing etc.

13.15 - 16.00:            Professor Vishanthie Sewpaul, University of KwaZuluNatal, South Africa: Global Standards in Social Work Ethics and Ethical Challenges

16.15 - 17. 30:           Presentations of paper sketches.

Tuesday 19th November:

9.15- 11.00:               Professor Siv Oltedal: Critical reflection 

11.15 – 12.00:            Professor Tor Claussen : Professional discretion in Social Work

12.00 – 12.45:            Lunch

12.45 – 13.30:            Professor Tor Claussen: Professional discretion in Social Work

13.30 - 15.00:            Professor Solveig Botnen Eide: Ethical dimensions in Social Work

15.15- 16.00:             Reflections in groups.

Wednesday 20th November:

09.15 -09.30:             Short reflection on paper writing

09.30- 11.30:             Professor Sue White: Researching organisational cultures

11.30 - 12.15:            Lunch

12.15: 13.00:             Reflections in groups.

13.15- 15.00:             Professor Sue White: Methods for analyzing texts and examples from text analysis.

Thursday 21st November:

9.15-11.30:                Professor Finn Thorbjørn Hansen: From a Perspective of Wonder: a Praxis Ontological Approach to Reflective Processes in Social Work.

11.30- 12.00:             Summing up.

12.00:                       Lunch

* Most of the literature will be uploaded in CANVAS – course SO-601

* Language of instruction: English and/or Norwegian depending on professors and course participants

If you have any questions, please fill in this form

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Course coordinators:

Professor Solveig Botnen Eide (UiA) and Professor Siv Oltedal (UiS)

Their research concerns topics within social work.  Eide focus on values in social work, ethical challenges in practical social work and professional ethics.  Her work is characterized by a phenomenological approach. Oltedal studies social work with families in different contexts, social work processes, gender and studies of the relationship between professionals and users at Norwegian Welfare Services.

Other academic profiles teaching at the course:

Sue Whith is a professor of Social Work, registered social worker and with an academic background in sociology. Her research is interdisciplinary and currently covers three main areas. She has undertaken a number of detailed ethnographic studies of everyday institutional practices and professional decision-making, principally in child and family health and welfare. She is also researching the uses of neuroscience and epigenetics in child and family welfare policy. A further strand of research focuses on socio-technical systems design, with attention to human, social and interactional factors in enhancing safety, particularly in children’s safeguarding.

Tor Claussen is a professor of Philosophy and Social Science at the University of Stavanger. His recent research concerns founders and classics in philosophy and social science/social work. Additionally, current research emphasis is on professional discretion in welfare services with focus on “Street-Level Bureaucracy”. Empirical research connects with issues in work life and organizations concerning both private and public sector. He has published several books, articles, special issues and research reports within these topics.

Vishanthie Sewpaul was a Professor in the College of Education, Zayed University, and a Senior Professor at the University of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa (UKZN), where she remains an Emeritus Professor. She occupies a Professor II position at University of Stavanger.  She has extensive teaching and research supervision experience; is widely published; and has delivered numerous special lectures, and keynote and plenary addresses in many countries. Social work research, practice and teaching with a focus on ethics, social justice, human rights and emancipatory education remain her passion.

Finn Thorbjørn Hansen is a Full Professor in dialogical philosophy, PhD in educational philosophy, working at Centre of Dialogue and Organization, University of Aalborg (Denmark) and a Visiting Professor ("Professor II") at Agder University, Kristiansand (Norway). His research is centred on the phenomenology of wonder, existential and ethical phenomenology and how wonder-based ethics and dialogue approaches can develop professions in health, welfare and education. He has delveloped a "Wonder Lab" and what he call "Socratic and Phenomenological-oriented Action Research". For more info, please see: