Social Work Students from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) have harnessed the power of fiction alongside that of Twitter to unite their peers in a School and country-wide online book club event.
UCLan Senior Lecturer Amanda Taylor who oversees the club secured a visit from Deborah Morgan, the author of their chosen book ‘Disappearing Home.’
Deborah Morgan attended the University for the book club event and read from her text whilst Amanda facilitated a live session on Twitter that attracted the attention of Social Worker academics in Glasgow, London and Northampton.
Deborah Morgan joined the UCLan Social Work students to discuss themes from her debut novel ‘Disappearing Home’, which tells the story of ten-year-old girl Robyn’s tough childhood growing up in a Liverpool tenement block in the 1970’s in a family where Domestic Violence was a significant issue.
"I’ve been able to share with them how I planned the book, created the characters, the research I did and the themes that run through it which the students can relate to their social work studies.”
The student book club caught the attention of Deborah when she spotted a discussion with students and Amanda about her novel on Amanda’s Twitter feed. They were able to speak to Deborah about the themes in her book and open up the dialogue to fellow students and practitioners on a much wider scale.
Deborah commented: “I’m delighted to be invited to the students’ book club and hopefully it will add a further dimension to their discussion. I’ve been able to share with them how I planned the book, created the characters, the research I did and the themes that run through it which the students can relate to their social work studies.”
UCLan Senior Social Work Lecturer Amanda Taylor led the Twitter debate throughout the gathering.
She said: “The book club provides an alternative learning zone outside of the traditional classroom environment. By sharing ideas on Twitter it allows the students to engage with practitioners and other students on a much wider stage. Tonight’s event has been a great success and we hope to run similar sessions in the future.”
Second year UCLan Social Work student Becky Evans added: “From simply connecting to Deborah on Twitter it’s meant that we can get so much more out of our book club and network with others by sharing it online. The book club helps us to relate theory and practice in a fun and stimulating way and speaking to Deborah about her book has raised an interesting and topical discussion.”
You can follow the UCLan Social Work Book Club on Twitter at @BABookClub23; Amanda Taylor Social Work Senior Lecturer @amltaylor66 and the Social Work School feed is @uclansocialwork