Reflective Thinking in Social Work : Learning from student narratives book cover
1st Edition

Reflective Thinking in Social Work
Learning from student narratives

ISBN 9781138779020
Published February 24, 2017 by Routledge
154 Pages

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Book Description

It is vital that social work students learn to integrate their personal and professional selves if they are to meet the challenges of social work in complex changing environments. This accessible text is designed to enable readers to explore and build on their existing skills and abilities, supporting them to become competent and self-aware reflective practitioners.

Reflective Thinking in Social Work uses stories told by a range of social work students to model reflective practice learning. Discussing issues such as identity, motivation to enter the social work profession and lived experiences in the journey into social work, the book brings together stories of hardship, privilege, families, hopes, interests and community activism from many diverse ethnic backgrounds. Each narrative is introduced by the author and ends with a commentary drawing out the key themes and exploring how the reader can use the narrative to enhance their own understanding and critical thinking, and to engage in transformative practice.

Framed by an in-depth discussion of available frameworks for reflective practice in different contexts and the importance of narratives in constructing identities, this is an invaluable text for social work students at both bachelor's and master's degree levels.

Table of Contents



Part One. Narrative, reflection, personal stories and research

Chapter 1. Introduction

Chapter 2. Reflective learning to critical reflection - models and background stories

Part Two. Student Narratives

Chapter 3. Research, Narrative Reflection and Self-Inquiry

Chapter 4. Looking through intersections of identity – the voice of my journey: Vanessa Correa

Chapter 5. Reflecting critically on my journey through social work education in an Australian university: Tejaswini Patil and Michelle Moss

Chapter 6. My narrative through social work education and field work in India: Frida Svensson

Chapter 7. Unending Expedition – a reflective account of my entry into the social work profession: Yogita Naruka

Chapter 8. Reflective Narrative: Layla Sewell

Chapter 9. Motivations and pathways for a career in social work – a reflective account: Nicole Jones

Chapter 10. My narrative: Antonio Constantino

Chapter 11. A gift to a student social worker: Anna Marie Monck

Final comments


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Mekada Julia Graham is Professor and Chair in Social Work at California State University, Dominguez Hills, USA.


'Mekada Graham has provided an original and helpful take on both narratives and reflection. The book grounds ideas in experiences and is a wonderful contribution to supporting further diversity in the social work profession.' - Jan Fook, Leeds Trinity University, U.K

'This book is a rare and precious thing: it connects theory and practice by sharing the stories – and voices – of social work students from around the world. In doing so, it invites us all to reflect on our own journeys in and through social work and on our own humanity.' - Viviene Cree, University of Edinburgh, U.K

'This important book revitalises the connections between critical social work practice and reflection upon personal stories and narratives. Using qualitative research strategies, including narrative and autoethnographic methods, the book showcases student narratives through the prisms of social justice, identity, empowerment, child welfare and diverse journeys through social work education. A captivating read for students and academics, the book affirms the centrality of reflection for social work practice.' - Christine Morley, Queensland University of Technology, Australia