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Journal: Problems of Education in the 21st Century (Vol.77, No. 5)

Publication Date:

Authors : ; ; ; ;

Page : 598-615

Keywords : descriptive cross-sectional survey; leadership development; leadership skills; pre-service social work students; social work;

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The importance of leadership is discussed widely in the social work literature. However, little is known about the leadership skills of social work students and factors affecting their development in the environment specific to higher educational institutions (HEIs). This research aimed to find out what skills pre-service social work students had related to leadership and to determine if significant differences existed in terms of such predictor variables as level and form of study, employment status, and involvement in co-curricular activities. The research employed the quantitative approach based on a descriptive cross-sectional survey involving a sample of 158 social work students from three Ukrainian universities. The research group consisted of 88% female and 12% male respondents, aged between 19 and 31. Data were obtained through the Student Leadership Outcomes Inventory, which contained 60 items measuring skills on 8 scales: (a) self-management, (b) interpersonal communication, (c) problem-solving and decision-making, (e) cognitive development and critical analysis, (f) organization and planning, (g) self-confidence, (h) diversity awareness, and (h) technology which served as outcome variables. All items were rated along a 5-point Likert scale, from poor (1) to excellent (5). The results of the research revealed lower than average levels of leadership skills and existing significant differences by outcome variables for the sample population. The findings suggest the need to strengthen the leadership skills of social work students through the implementation of formal and informal developmental activities and recognition of leadership participation within the social work curriculum.

Last modified: 2019-10-18 17:32:42