From the Editor: A "Useful" Journal

By Valentine, Deborah P. | Journal of Social Work Education, Fall 2003 | Go to article overview
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From the Editor: A "Useful" Journal


Valentine, Deborah P., Journal of Social Work Education


Truth is an eternal conversation about things that matter, conducted with passion and discipline.

--Parker Palmer

I am honored and humbled by the opportunity to provide editorial leadership to the Journal of Social Work Education for the next 3 years. My scholarship on social work education spans such topics as classroom research, social work doctoral education, part-time social work education, innovative strategies to teach content on developmental disabilities, mentorship in the academy, women and accreditation, and sexual harassment in educational settings. I look forward to learning much more about social work education as I review manuscripts and share with our consulting editors the difficult decision of choosing articles for publication. I am grateful for the hard work and leadership provided by previous editors-in-chief and hope that I can leave my mark on the Journal as others have done before me.

In keeping with the Journal of Social Work Education's mission to serve as a forum for "creative exchange on trends, innovations, and problems relevant to social work education," I encourage submissions of manuscripts that reflect multifunctional scholarship, diluting unnecessary tensions between social work research, teaching, and service. In 1991, Ernest Boyer published a report entitled Scholarship Reconsidered. In this report, the former president of the Carnegie Foundation, proposed that a "more comprehensive, more dynamic understanding of scholarship" be considered--"one in which the rigid categories of teaching, research and service are broadened and more flexibly defined" (Boyer, 1991, p. 16). Boyer urges colleges and universities to give the "familiar and honorable term 'scholarship' a broader more capacious meaning, one that brings legitimacy to the full scope of academic work" (p. 16). Specifically, Boyer maintains that scholarship should be thought of as having four separate, yet overlapping, functions. These are the scholarship of discovery; the scholarship of integration; the scholarship of application; and the scholarship of teaching. Each of these types of scholarship are worthy of a brief review.

The scholarship of discovery refers to what is typically considered "research" by members of the academy. The acquisition of new knowledge and free inquiry using traditional scientific methods is a foundation of higher education. The Journal encourages submissions of original research that uses either quantitative, qualitative, of mixed methods to answer questions relevant to social work education. Boyer (1991) describes the scholarship of integration as the process of "making connections across the disciplines, placing the specialties in larger context, illuminating data in a revealing way," seeking to "interpret, draw together, and bring new insight to bear on original research" (pp. 18-19). The Journal will also publish well-crafted articles that synthesize knowledge from disciplines outside social work and that inform social work education in creative ways. An example of the scholarship of integration is the provocative essay published in this issue by Thomas Szasz entitled "Psychiatry and the Control of Dangerousness: On the Apotropaic Function of the Term 'Mental Illness.'"

The scholarship of application refers to a dynamic process whereby the scholar moves toward engagement and "new intellectual understandings can arise out of the very act of application ... in activities such as these, theory and practice vitally interact, and one renews the other" (p.

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From the Editor: A "Useful" Journal
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