NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Back to results
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ839683
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-May
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0884-1233
Critical Thinking as Integral to Social Work Practice
Gibbons, Jill; Gray, Mel
Journal of Teaching in Social Work, v24 n1-2 p19-38 May 2004
The paper examines the role of critical thinking in an experience-based model of social work education. Within this model, the development of a critical approach to our own understanding of, as well as to existing knowledge about, the world is fundamental for students and educators alike. Critical thinking is defined as more than a rational, step-by-step problem-solving process; it is seen as the systematic application of critical thinking skills to real life situations that can only be learned and refined through practice within a particular discipline. It presumes a social constructionist understanding of the world whereby knowledge is a social construction; where the limits of knowledge are recognised; and where knowledge is seen as ever changing, even shifting and unstable. This is regarded as a very different process from learning to apply knowledge that one accepts uncritically as true, reliable and correct. Finally, creativity is viewed as pivotal to critical thinking and to preparing students for the ambiguities and complexities of social work practice. As well as describing the critical thinking components of the social work program, the paper shows how a critical thinking stance can be fostered in the classroom, reports on our ongoing evaluation of our attempts to teach students to think critically, and reports on the challenges and rewards experienced thus far. (Contains 1 figure.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia