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Breaking through: A grounded theory study of social work distance education

, Fielding Graduate University, United States

Fielding Graduate University . Awarded


The current dialogue in social work educational leadership includes the examination of distance education delivery options. Questions regarding online, hybrid, and interactive television processes often enter the discussion, yet no unifying theory has framed the discourse within the discipline specifically. In response to this perceived need, I offer explanations and predictions that are founded upon existing data. People as students, faculty, and administrators all served as informants for this specific study; therefore, a comprehensive array of interviews and reflexive interactions contribute to the results. Breaking Through is a rendering in theoretical terms of the current state of processes in social work distance education; a theory-based understanding is now available to frame the discourse for students, faculty, and administrators.

This grounded theory dissertation includes presentation of the Causes for launching distance education delivery options. Context and Conditions receive attention through a delineation of media issues and how they affect the variables associated with the notion of distance. Contingencies and Covariances represent the conceptual typologies involved with possible educational events in the distance venue. Finally, the Consequences portion of this grounded theory study offers potential outcomes of the social work distance education processes.

Breaking Through augments the current state of the knowledge base in social work education by providing a systematically derived theory to understand the complex behavior of the people interacting in the distance venue. People in social work programs—anywhere between the beginning and advanced stages of distance education endeavors—can utilize the insights contained in this study to improve their efforts toward educating future social work professionals. With the theoretical framework in place, continued research can secure an instrument to translate the narrative of abstractions into the observable and measurable indicators to support evidence-based practices.

Key words: constructivist grounded theory, social work education, distance education


Fielding, K.I. Breaking through: A grounded theory study of social work distance education. Ph.D. thesis, Fielding Graduate University. Retrieved November 13, 2019 from .

This record was imported from ProQuest on October 23, 2013. [Original Record]

Citation reproduced with permission of ProQuest LLC.

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