Creating spaces for critical reflection in social work education: learning from a classroom-based empathy project

Gair, Susan (2011) Creating spaces for critical reflection in social work education: learning from a classroom-based empathy project. Reflective Practice, 12 (6). pp. 791-802.

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Abstract

'Empathy' is a familiar term in social work education and it is understood to be a foundational ingredient in therapeutic engagements. Yet critical reflection by educators about how to both teach and model empathy seems minimal in the literature. This paper begins by reviewing the pioneering work by early empathy researchers, followed by identification of more contemporary research and understandings. That context, and a description of a classroom-based inquiry into empathy that I undertook in 2009, provide the backdrop for deeper reflection on my teaching and students' learning. The notion of a 'liminal' space helped to position this student/teacher engagement. In particular, I illuminate my efforts to cultivate empathy for improved classroom learning and skill development for social work practice, and I highlight my own struggles on the road to being a more empathic, reflective educator.

Item ID: 19756
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: empathy; social work education; liminal space; reflection
ISSN: 1470-1103
Date Deposited: 21 Feb 2012 06:26
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1607 Social Work > 160701 Clinical Social Work Practice @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920201 Allied Health Therapies (excl. Mental Health Services) @ 100%
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