Social Work Research and Evaluation applies systematically developed research knowledge to social work practice and emphasizes the “doing” of social work as a reciprocal avenue for generating research evidence and social work knowledge. Using the Examined Practice Model, authors Elizabeth G. DePoy and Stephen F. Gilson present research as the identification of a problem and then proceed to evaluate the efficacy of social work practice in its resolution. Diverse theories, actions, and sets of evidence from a range of professional and disciplinary perspectives are included to underscore the importance of integrating evaluation and practice in research.
[Page 224]In this chapter, we detail how information is systematically obtained across the three research traditions. But before we begin, we want to emphasize the importance of asking precise questions in all parts of examined practice by recounting several experiences.
A few years ago, we had the good fortune to travel to China. After having gone to the zoo to see the giant pandas, we were curious about what other types of animals lived in the wild, so we asked several residents, all who spoke English. Each time we asked, we were told that pandas were wild, and that the other animals in the zoo also lived in the wild. Clearly, we were not asking a precise question. So while we may ...