Social Work Placement Case Study Essay

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Case Study The use of Photovoice as a critical reflection strategy took place during the 2016-2017 school year in a rural institution located in the Pacific Northwest.

The new teaching strategy was incorporated into a year-long graduate field seminar for concentration-year students within an advanced generalist curriculum.

Introduction While Photovoice has been gaining momentum in social work practice, and specifically participatory research methods, it has not been explored as a teaching strategy for critical reflection in the social work discipline.

This manuscript seeks to open that discussion by describing the use of Photovoice as a teaching strategy to support student professional identity development and encourage creative critical reflection in a graduate field seminar.

In the current program, field seminar instructors act as both field liaisons that visit internship sites and instructors who facilitate seminar discussions.

Social Work Placement Case Study Essay

Seminars typically include weekly processing sessions of field experiences and students are required to engage in a variety of reflection assignments during their two-semester experience.

Critical reflection has been defined as “reflective practice that focuses on the power dimensions of assumptive thinking, and therefore on how practice might change in order to bring about change in the social situations in which professionals work” (Fook, 2007, p. Social work field seminars and their accompanying internships are two of the key spaces where students have an opportunity to critically reflect upon their development of professional identity.

Williamson, Hostetter, Byers, & Huggins (2010) note the importance of strengthening the practicum experience through more reflective experiences.

First seen in public health, this method has become an invaluable tool for understanding how people construct and define what matters to them, and leads to powerful action for disenfranchised populations nationally and internationally (Wang, 1999).

Over the last twenty years, the value, importance, and method of Photovoice have been steadfastly documented across disciplines throughout the literature including: water rights with First Nations People in Canada (Bradford, Zagozewski, & Bharadwaj, 2016), drug prevention with rural Hawaiian youth (Helm et al., 2015), urban food justice in the United States (Harper et al., 2017), critical consciousness (Carlson, Engebretson, & Chamberlain, 2006), and rural health in the United States (Royse & Dignan, 2008).

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