Kent School of Social Work
Social Work 605 Social Work Practice II
For her 2013-14 Part-time Faculty Learning Community project, Tina Johnson created a classroom assignment and activity for her Social Work Practice II course titled “Macro Social Work Compare and Contrast Exercise,” A primary learning objective was “to apply critical thinking skills within the context of professional Macro Social Work practice."
The exercise involved both presentations and field visits to four local social service agencies where students heard and experienced first-hand the activities of these agencies. Johnson asked the students to list ways these agencies embrace empowerment, promote strengths and consumerism perspectives, which are Fundamental and Powerful Concepts [PDF] for this course, and how these agencies are involved (or where they fit) into macro social work practice. Students gained exposure to these specialized social work concepts through assigned readings, instructor lecture and classroom discussion. Students then had to demonstrate their understanding of these concepts by using them in their analysis of the agencies they visited. Students were then asked to utilize the Elements of Thought, specifically to gather the data they would need to analyze and compare and contrast the four social service agencies through a macro social work lens.
In her evaluation of this exercise, Johnson observed that: “Students were engaged and were excited to provide the necessary information. They were able to recall specifics from the speakers and place pertinent items into each category with confidence. It was a great exercise for learning about Macro practice and analyzing the difference between agencies.”