Social Work Module

I am really enjoying my elective module, ‘Working together to achieve social justice’ as part of the Social Work course. There are lots of interesting ideas being shared within my study group that I can reflect on. It is interesting to work with Social Work and CLD students as I will likely be working with them in the near future.

We have recently been looking at collaboration; in particular collaborative advantage and collaborative inertia. By looking at two case studies, one which showed advantage and the other inertia, i feel like I was able to fully understand the meaning of these terms and will be able to use them appropriately in future academic response.

We are heading out to a placement on the 26th of this month, my group will be based at Baldragon Academy while other groups have different placements within the community. I am looking forward to being able to feed back what we have learned in the ‘world cafe’ presentations but more so to see what the other groups have to say on their placements.

The module is a really great addition to my core modules and I am glad I was able to change over. It ties in so well with things we are currently studying as well as some of the content in the online modules. I’m really looking forward to the next few weeks on the course.

A personal life online…

We all know that whatever you put on the Internet is subject to criticism from all sides. You have to be wary about what you post so as not to offend anyone or spark negative discussion. This becomes even more of an issue when you become a professional in the limelight and particularly for us as student teachers. However, it is our choice how we look at this, will we see it as a negative or positive for our career/personal life?

I have to admit, I was very daunted when I first considered how sensible we have to become when posting on social media. It made me rack my brains through every post I’ve ever shared; instagram, Facebook, twitter, snapchat and so on. It is scary to think that the things you say could be open to so much scrutiny, and that parents, pupils and colleagues may look to find you on your personal social networking sites.

I’ve always had public profiles, but following our lecture with Derek I decided to go ahead and make most of my profiles private. I use my networks to share posts with my family & friends and I can still do this on a private platform, rather than allowing the world to look at me living my life out on the internet. I’ve done this purely to let me have a personal life as well as a professional one.

However, working in a marketing role I use my Facebook quite regularly to discuss my service with potential clients and choose to make certain posts public and others completely private. This is an extremely useful aspect of Facebook.

It would be very easy to take a negative view towards social media and the challenges it creates but I like to see opportunity in everything. It has allowed me to investigate ways in which I can moderate my social media, something I can share with pupils, parents and colleagues to promote safety online. I have looked at a variety of different online platforms, which I can see would allow my pupils to share their work in a safe environment online. I feel we have to be open to move with the times in terms of the ‘Digital World’ to best accommodate for the every growing minds of our pupils.

Things that help/hinder my success…

Complete the table below to identify and reflect on those helping and hindering factors and plan actions for each. Record this in your eportfolio or professional learning journal.

Download document: Unit 1_B_managing my learning.docx (Word 15.8KB)


Recognition/Reflection Action
What helps my learning?

Example: “Discussing the topic with others”

How can I utilise this

  • Set up a study group of like-minded peers
  • Engage with the online community
 Keeping organised notes on lectures  – print off slides prior to lecture

– create a system to be followed for all lectures so that it is easy to understand notes. For example, using different codes etc.

 Having appropriate knowledge of subject ares to be discussed in lectures.  – set aside a set time for use of the library

– engage with set reading lists and extra reading of diverse sources.

 Being in ‘the right place’ for successful learning.  – Big one for me. Get in the zone; eating well, sleeping well etc.


Recognition/Reflection Action
What hinders my learning?

Example: “I am easily distracted”

How can I address this factor?

  • Study in a place were distractions are minimal
  • Read lecture notes before the lecture and then take notes lectures to keep me focused
 I sometimes concentrate too much on work rather than studies.  – Have set times to deal with work marketing & emails etc.

– Turn off phone during set study periods, so I have shorter but more focussed time.

 I leave everything until the last minute.  – Create visual to do list.

– Complete tasks as soon as possible and prioritise by importance. (UNI FIRST)


My thoughts on ‘The Study Skills Book’…

 Having read the book ‘The Study Skills Book’ by Kathleen McMillan and Jonathan Weyers, I have come to a variety of conclusions about what it means to be a student & what skills I should like to posses by the time I’ve graduated.

There is a lot to be considered when starting out as a university student, I for one am fully aware of this having started out on a very different university course 2 years ago. The start of the book discusses the importance of goal setting for the long term and asks the reader to contemplate where they see themselves in 5 years time and 10 years time. I feel by looking at your long term goals you can make better informed short-term goals, this idea is backed up by the questions asked in the book, ie; ‘what subjects will you need to study to achieve your goals?’

This time around, I am staying at home while studying. I feel like this is a much better choice for me in terms of finance and being in an environment that is appropriate for my learning. Page 8 of The Study Skills book provides information comparing the pros and cons of living at home or moving into student accommodation. I feel like the thoughts laid out in the book are very similar to those I had when looking at accommodation options. Right now this is what’s best for me, but I have considered looking at shared accommodation in the future.

The book dedicates a considerable amount of time to talking about financing university. Every student has a different budget to work with as well as different out goings. The majority of my expenditure this year will be on travel, parking and materials for study (books, stationary etc). While university can be expensive, the long term benefits far out weigh the short term costs. As a Scottish student, I am very lucky to have the support of SAAS for tuition fees and indeed a loan should I wish to take up that option.

One thing I found particularly interesting from the book was the mention of the need for mental change, I agree completely with this. University can be a wonderful enlightening experience or a negative one, dependant on how you view it. My first experience of university was the latter, but having returned I have a completely different mindset and attitude towards achieving my goals as a professional.

University is very different from school or the workplace, it requires a lot of self directed activity and intrinsic motivation to get things done. As a whole, the university has general expectations of it’s students some of which I will go on to discuss. It is generally accepted that communication is vital to the progression and success of students, a student should aim to complete all administrative tasks such as matriculation in a timely manner. It is also imperative that student make regular use of IT and email accounts to keep up with any important information. Furthermore, personal organisation is expected of all students – this encapsulates time management, keeping note of important deadlines and creating a balance between work and play. A student is expected to embrace university life by being open to learning new skills and ways of working while assessing how they can plan their studies to get the most out of the course. As an institution, the university has a broad wealth of services available to students to ensure their university experience is both enjoyable and productive. It is expected that when issues arise for a student they will make appropriate use of these services before reaching a crisis. I have looked at these points mentioned in The Study Skills Book and have outlined the areas which I personally need to consider further and organise more efficiently. The book has opened me up to some new ideas surrounding how I can get the most out of my education.

As previously noted, University life is far removed from school life. The text asks the question, “What makes university different?” There are lots of answers to this question. Firstly, attendance is not monitored as rigidly as in school. For the teaching course, 80% attendance is required which gives quite a lot of room for the odd day off. However, a motivated student would look to keep attendance as high as possible. The teaching style also differs a lot from school, with a large proportion of input being directed in lectures rather than classroom situations. Typically, a student will work a 40-hour week on a full time course – however a lot of this time should be made up of self directed study, this is very different from the school learning environment. In terms of assessment, a student will receive a grade on the piece of work they hand in. Essays or assignments are not proof read by lectures/tutors and so the student should take ownership of having this done by peers or relatives. University is largely about learning to learn in a manner that can be continued throughout life, and allows the individual to embark on continual personal development.

On a whole, university is not just about passing exams or attaining a qualification in one subject area. It is about preparing a student for employment as a graduate. On leaving university, the learner should aim to have gained a repetoire of skills including; personal development skills, interpersonal skills, communication skills, technical skills and intellectual skills, all of which are desirable to the employer.

Did your gender affect your education as a child?

Thinking back to my primary school education, I don’t remember there being much separation between boys & girls. Everything seemed to me to be very inclusive. I baked cakes for golden time on Friday mornings while I donned shin guards and football boots by 3pm. I had my mum separate my hair into neat pleats before I headed off to cover myself in mud at scout camp. I thought myself a little fashionista in my bright red tights; the same red tights I would be ripping holes in the knee of whilst competing for the title of British Bulldogs Champion. As a child, I certainly challenged the idea of traditional gender roles and didn’t let them stand in my way. I just went about my life, doing the things I loved. I was never labeled a ‘girly girl’ or ‘tomboy’ for doing so, I was just Lynsey. When my mum talks about her schooling, I see a stark contrast between her somewhat restricted education and my positive experiences. It is very inspiring to consider the positive changes that have been made for children in education over what is a relatively short period of time. I am excited to be part of a movement that promotes the idea that children should have exactly the same opportunities regardless of their gender, ethnicity or social class.

The desire to teach and be taught…

On leaving school, I had it all planned out – the business degree, the highflying job, the house, the car, the kids & the man of my dreams all by 25. That was the plan and that was how I saw things panning out. I was raring to go with my course, ready to learn about the inner workings of business; economics, accounting, management, enterprise – the lot. But the first thing I was going to learn at university and stepping out into the ‘real world’ was that life rarely goes to plan.

To cut a long story short, I found myself packing all my belongings back into the boxes they came from and I waved goodbye to Heriot-Watt University and my dream of being the female version of Lord Sugar. The days and months that followed were some of the hardest I’d experienced, essentially I felt like I’d failed myself and at that time, positivity and motivation were hard to come by. I knew I had to do something. I had so much potential, I had been the girl that was ‘going somewhere’ and I couldn’t let a minor bump in the road stop that. 

Prior to attending university, I’d travelled to Rwanda on a volunteering trip. It was hands down one of the best experiences of my life. My mind kept coming back to this, how much I enjoyed it, how alive it had meet me feel, the way really making a difference to the lives of others reminded me of the value of my own. The more I thought about it, the more my experiences spurred me on to become a teacher. Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”, I had seen this first hand in Rwanda and it opened me up to the idea of how rewarding a career in education could be.


So, I applied for university. I dedicated myself to getting rich experience in a variety of learning environments and as I progressed through my – very unintentional- gap year, it became clear to me that this was definitely what I wanted to be doing with my life. That year, from then to now sitting writing this blog post as a student of The University of Dundee, flew by. Summer 2015 saw me travel to Africa to volunteer as a teacher in Cape Town and it showed me the beauty of being an educator; while you are there to change the lives of others, it is highly likely that in turn they will in fact change yours.


As a teacher, I want to continue to travel the world, to work and learn in different cultures and to continually keep in mind that you can be the difference between a child achieving their full potential and not. I want to inspire a love of learning in all children, to motivate children to pursue a career that empowers them, to create learning environments that allow each child to engage. Most importantly, I want to be part of an education system that works towards promoting the positives of learning for each and every child, that allows each young person to reach their true potential. So now, the dream for me is to teach & continue to be taught all through my life. And for me, that’s a much better dream.



Welcome to your WordPress eportfolio

Welcome to your eportfolio. This is where you will document and share your professional thoughts and experiences over the course of your study at the University of Dundee and beyond that when you begin teaching. You have the control over what you want to make public and what you would rather keep on a password protected page.

The eportfolio in the form of this WordPress blog allows you to pull in material from other digital sources:

You can pull in a YouTube video:

You can pull in a Soundcloud audio track:

You can pull in a Flickr page

Teacher, Lorraine Lapthorne conducts her class in the Grade Two room at the Drouin State School, Drouin, Victoria

You can just about pull in anything that you think will add substance and depth to your writing.