Summary: This collection of cases provides social work students with opportunities to practice thinking like social work professionals. These accounts, referred to as decision cases, depict actual situations encountered by BSW-level generalist social workers across a variety of practice settings in their work with individuals, families, groups, organizations, or communities. Sure to stimulate in-depth class discussions, these detailed, open-ended cases urge students to decide...show more on the central problem and recommend a course of action. The resulting case analyses and class discussions help students develop important problem-solving and critical-thinking skills, internalize social work values and ethics, and apply theory to practice. Through the "decision case" approach, students adopt attitudes and skills that are considered essential for effective social work practice, yet difficult to teach in the traditional curriculum. As they discuss their perspectives on these cases, students learn to articulate and defend their positions, to listen more effectively, and to develop skills in, and appreciation for, collaborative problem-solving.
These open-ended decision cases portray the actual experiences of social workers in a variety of practice settings and the complex, ambiguous dilemmas they encountered.
Tailored to meet the needs of the BSW program, these cases require students to use their knowledge of social work theory and research, their analytic and critical thinking skills, and their common sense and collective wisdom to formulate and analyze problems, evaluate possible solutions, and recommend a preferred intervention.
As students analyze and discuss the cases, they exercise their problem-solving and critical thinking skills and learn to think like social work practitioners.
Case analyses and class discussions help students learn to integrate theories from across the curriculum and to apply them to practice.
This casebook facilitates and encourages instructor assessment of critical thinking and problem solving skills, commitment to social work values and ethics, and application of theory to practice as students analyze open-ended cases, either orally or in writing.
Open-ended decision cases require students to wrestle with the actual experiences and dilemmas of social work practitioners.
Accompanying electronic resources (available only to adopting instructors) provide general guidelines for teaching with the case method as well as extensive teaching notes for individual cases. To aid case selection, the teaching notes briefly summarize the case, identify content courses for which the case could be used, and suggest possible learning outcomes. To support instructor preparation, they also provide numerous discussion questions and responses (organized in four categories: fact, analysis, action, and reflection), suggest assignments or classroom activities to supplement the case discussion, and identify print and electronic resources for further information.
This casebook is an excellent accompaniment to many texts across the social work practice curriculum.
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