Using story retelling to enhance social work students’ openness to diversity: a pilot RCT

Chitat Chan*, Hoyee Au Yeung, Chris O. L. Lau

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Based on the results from a story-retelling workshop for social work students in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), this paper suggests that narrative activities can make unique contributions in nurturing students’ openness to diversity, and such potential is under-researched. This research is a pilot randomized controlled trial (RCT). The workshop arranged students to read website materials and had real dialogues with the protagonist, and then randomly assigned for students to participate in the story-retelling group or the analytical writing group. Psychological changes and reading behaviour of the two groups were compared. The findings showed that the story-retelling group was more efficient than the analytical writing group in increasing critical openness and decreasing the need for cognitive closure. Such results open a discussion about the value of narrative approaches in social work education.

基于一个在中国香港为社会工作学生举办的故事重述工作坊结果, 本研究指出叙事活动有助培养学生以开放态度面对多样性, 然而叙事活动的这种潜力并未得到充分研究。本研究是试点性质的随机对照实验, 工作坊安排学生阅读网站资料及与故事人物对话, 然后随机安排学生参与重述故事组或分析写作组。本文比较了两组学生的心理变化及阅读行为。结果显示, 重述故事组比分析写作组更有效地让学生增加明辨开放态度及减少封闭认知倾向。在这一发现的基础上, 论文进一步讨论了叙事取向在社会工作教育中的价值。

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)124-142
Number of pages19
JournalChina Journal of Social Work
Issue number2
Early online date12 Sept 2021
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2022

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science

User-Defined Keywords

  • identity
  • Narrative practice
  • openness to diversity
  • storytelling
  • technology


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