Transformational Learning: Teaching Strategies that Promote Advocacy in Social Justice and Not-for-Profit Leadership

By John Conahan.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Educational Studies

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Article: Electronic $US5.00

Social work education’s field work, or signature pedagogy, provides an opportunity for students to take abstract knowledge and learned practice skills and integrate them in a real world setting. This field education has been criticized for neglecting several key components of the learning process. These components include social work management competencies, field experience in gaining such competencies, and developing leadership in not-for-profit agencies. In response, one program developed an in-house practicum in which the student intern serves as executive director in a social welfare club designed to mimic the organizational structure of a not-for-profit agency. This study examines, through a phenomenological focus, the transformational experiences of students serving their field placements in such a position, and examines the social welfare club’s potential as a tool in social work education.

Keywords: Social Welfare Club, Field Education, Field Placement, Macro Practice, Transformational Learning

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Educational Studies, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp.1-13. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 298.668KB).

Dr. John Conahan

Professor, Associate Professor of Social Work, Kutztown University, Kutztown, Pennsylvania, USA

Dr. Conahan is an associate professor of social work, licensed clinical social worker, and member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers. He holds a doctorate in human development with a specialization in social work. His doctorate and Master’s of Social Work degrees are from Marywood University. He is also certified addictions counselor. His 30 plus years of experience as a generalist practitioner has included the provision of services to individuals, groups, families, communities, and organizations. He has also occupied positions in clinical management and senior administrative management positions in the field of substance abuse treatment. His areas of research include gender issues in addiction treatment, immigration and human trafficking, and organizational leadership.