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Social Work Practice Education Beyond the Pandemic

Comparative Perspectives on Continuities, Adaptations and Innovations

  • Book
  • Oct 2024


  • Analyses of adaptations & innovations in social work practice education programs in context of pandemics & other crises
  • Elucidates how COVID-19-related innovations enriched repertoires of practice education & fostered more resilient systems
  • Addresses social work practice education through a glocal approach with a comparative perspective & a multimethod design

Part of the book series: European Social Work Education and Practice (ESWEP)

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About this book

This book offers unprecedented knowledge about how social work practice education has been restructured under the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and how the adaptations and innovations generated during this time have become a supplementary tool of current social work education worldwide. Based on the European research project "SWooPEd – Social Work Practice Education in Times of Pandemics, and Beyond. Continuities, Changes and Innovations in Europe", this contributed volume provides a unique international perspective from different European countries that are accomplished through insights from authors in other continents.

The book addresses topics through a 'glocal' approach, using a comparative perspective and a multi-method design. It adopts the IASSW-IFSW "Global Standards for Social Work Education and Training", as well as considers the heterogeneity of national social work education systems in Europe, North America, Africa, and the Asia and Pacific region. The volume's contents are organized in three sections:

  • In Part I, the authors compare the structures and designs of social work practice education programs and the reactions of the schools of social work to the COVID-19-related restrictive measures on a European level.
  • In Part II, the authors provide in-depth analyses on how the pandemic experimentations have been re-adapted and used in some European countries and which innovations and findings were identified that could be integrated now and in the context of other crises.
  • In Part III, the authors contextualize these experiences and display the paths and analyses from schools in non-European countries, as well as finally identify the crucial current challenges and opportunities for social work practice education at a global level.

Social Work Practice Education Beyond the Pandemic is a key reference for the global community of social work education including academics, educators, field instructors, practitioners, and students. It provides an inspiring source for all the innovators in the field of higher education in social work and highlights how social work practice education can be designed in a more resilient and sustainable way that directs social work practice education into the future.


  • social work practice
  • social work education
  • Future of global social work practice education
  • COVID-19 pandemic
  • social work innovative practices
  • Temporary adaptations or long-lasting innovations
  • resilience-based practice education
  • sustainability
  • social work transformation
  • social work continuities
  • Europe
  • Welfare regimes
  • Service-learning in a virtual environment
  • Digital support of social work practice education
  • Outdoor teaching settings
  • Curricular practices of social work programs during the pandemic

Editors and Affiliations

  • Department of Political and Social Sciences, University of Florence, Florence, Italy

    Riccardo Guidi

  • Faculty of Social Sciences, School of Social work, Hochschule Bremen, City University of Applied Science, Bremen, Germany

    Christian Spatscheck

About the editors

Riccardo Guidi is Associate Professor in Sociology at the Department of Political and Social Sciences of the University of Florence, Italy. He holds a BA/MA in Political Science (Sociology curriculum) and a PhD in History and Sociology of Modernity from the University of Pisa, Italy. In the last ten years he has taught Social Policy and Policy Practice for Helping Professions, Organization of Social Services, Sociology of the Third Sector, Sociology, and Methodology of Applied Social Research. Previously at the University of Pisa, he was Scientific Coordinator of Practice Education activities in BA/MA Social Work Programs of the University of Pisa from 2019 to 2023. He is Co-Convenor (with Prof. Idit Weiss-Gal and Prof. John Gal) of the Special Interest Group "Research on Social Work and Policy Engagement" of the European Social Work Research Association (ESWRA). In the last years he has been Principal Investigator of the project: "Social Work Practice Education in Times of Pandemic, and Beyond. Continuities, Changes, Innovations in Europe" (co-funded by the EASSW). His investigations are mainly about Social Policy and Social Work, Third Sector, Volunteering and Civic Action.

Christian Spatscheck is Professor for Theories and Methods of Social Work at the Faculty of Social Sciences of Hochschule Bremen, City University of Applied Sciences, Germany. He is a qualified social worker (Dipl.-Soz.-arb. FH, KFH Freiburg) and holds a diploma in pedagogy (Dipl.-Paed., postgraduate level, PH Freiburg) and a PhD in social pedagogy (TU Berlin). He is member of Editorial Board of the European Journal of Social Work and International Editorial Advisory Board of Nordic Social Work Research. He is also an elected member of the Board of Directors of the DGSA  - German Association of Social Work and one of the two Chairpersons of the DGSA. During the last years, he has published several monographs, edited volumes, and articles on theories and methods of social work with a special focus on spatial, systemic and socio-ecological approaches of social work and social pedagogy. He has developed international activities at Lund University, Pisa University, Ca' Foscari University of Venice, UCL Institute of Education, Hanzehogeschool Groningen, and MCI Innsbruck, and has been teaching in many member universities of the European SocNet98 network.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Social Work Practice Education Beyond the Pandemic

  • Book Subtitle: Comparative Perspectives on Continuities, Adaptations and Innovations

  • Editors: Riccardo Guidi, Christian Spatscheck

  • Series Title: European Social Work Education and Practice

  • Publisher: Springer Cham

  • eBook Packages: Social Sciences

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2024

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-031-66558-5Due: 24 October 2024

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-031-66561-5Due: 24 October 2025

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-031-66559-2Due: 24 October 2024

  • Series ISSN: 2662-2440

  • Series E-ISSN: 2662-2459

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: X, 214

  • Number of Illustrations: 4 b/w illustrations, 6 illustrations in colour

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