Moving Stories: Evaluation of a BSW Oral History Project with Older Adults with Diverse Immigration Historiesedit
The purpose of this study was to evaluate an experiential learning project with BSW students to see if their perceptions of older adults have changed. The project consisted of an oral history project and presentation that matched BSW students with older adults from diverse ethnic backgrounds to gather their immigration narratives. The study used a single group pretest posttest design with 17 BSW students enrolled in an integrative field seminar class. Using a series of inferential analyses, BSW students’ attitudes towards older adults, future career plans, confidence with working with older adults from diverse backgrounds, and geriatric competencies were examined. Overall, a significant increase in BSW students who had varying levels of participation in project perceptions of geriatric social work competencies between pretest and posttest were found. Students who both conducted and presented the oral histories of older adults also were significantly more likely to report future plans to work with older adults compared to students who did not. Exposing BSW students to aging and diversity content has important implications towards fostering student interest in pursuing social work practice with older adults and preparing them for culturally competent social work.