38 Int'l Soc. Work 5 (1995)

handle is hein.journals/intsocwk38 and id is 1 raw text is: 




Editorial


At a recent social work social event I was approached by a colleague who
wanted to talk about International Social Work. This colleague is a well-
known  and ardent supporter of the international component of our profes-
sion and has contributed much to this area. His opening remarks were very
positive about our journal and its progress; however, he added that he
wanted me  to hear some concerns that had recently been conveyed to him
at, I believe, a meeting of other internationally oriented colleagues.
  The  concerns that were being voiced about our journal related to the
overall content of the articles of recent issues. It was suggested that, good
as the last few volumes have been, overall the journal is becoming too
'academic' and 'theoretical'. In this way it seems to be less and less relevant
for our colleagues in the 'front lines'. In the hustle and bustle of the social
event I noted my friend's comments with little concern and moved on to
other topics and other conversations.
  However,  this type of conversational interchange has the uncomfortable
habit of returning to mind. Without completing a quantitative distribution
of articles submitted (a task our Editorial Policy Committee might under-
take) there is no doubt that the observations my colleague reported are
accurate. We  clearly have many more articles submitted from academic
sources than from line practitioners. It is not difficult to understand why.
First, traditionally and perhaps unfortunately, ours has been a profession
that is more skilled in verbal communication than in the written word. For
example, our accustomed way  of educating new colleagues for our profes-
sion has been to devote close to half of the time in the 'practicum'. Much
of our teaching of direct practice takes place through verbal interactions in
either one-to-one supervision or through various types of group or team
interaction. Our skills in working with people are highly dependent on our
verbal abilities.
  Second, most  of the situations in which our colleagues in direct practice
function - situations of critical interest and importance to our readers -
are highly demanding and highly focused. Thus the likelihood of our col-
leagues being either willing or able to take the time and expend the effort
of writing an article for a professional journal is remote.
  Third, it has long been my observation that many of our practising col-
leagues around the world are not aware that what they are doing in their
individual practice settings would be of considerable interest and relevance
to many  other parts of the world.
  On  the other hand, for those of us in the world of academe, the situation


International Social Work (SAGE, London, Thousand Oaks, CA and New Delhi),
Vol. 38 (1995), 5-6.

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