Wisdom and skills in social work education: Promoting critical relational social work through innovative learning

Authors: Parker, J.

Start date: 29 September 2016

This paper explores innovative methods in social work education with a focus on developing relational social work wisdom. (The term ‘wisdom’ is chosen alongside skills because the latter is suggestive of instrumentalism whilst wisdom conjures the human, the experiential and the relational – it is more ‘human’ (see Krill, 1990). The paper describes the development of social work education in the United Kingdom (UK) especially England; chosen especially because it is a site of exportation and reproduction and it is important to draw attention to the current trend of convergence and prescription and, allied to that, potential mistakes. Subsequently we will illustrate four potential innovations that enhance the relational and social justice element of social work whilst immersing the student within those worlds. These will be brought together under a banner of ‘pedagogy for pleasure’ which promotes agency as a powerful technology of resistance and potential change within normative organisational structures.

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