Expanding your toolkit: teaching social work practice in the healthcare setting

Publication Name

Social Work Education


For social work education to remain current and responsive to the demands of the field, collaboration is required between those actively teaching, and those actively practicing. Examples, however, of co-construction of curriculums are minimal, with classroom subjects largely being taught as stand-alone components of the overall social work program, perhaps with occasional practitioners providing guest lectures about the practice context in which they work. Informed by transformational learning theory, relationship-based practice, and experiential education, practice-based learning requires social work students to engage with classroom content and skill development while at the same time building their job readiness through exposure to the modern workplace and current practitioners. To achieve this, a case example is given whereby academics and practitioners collaborated on developing advanced practice skills subject in the healthcare context, with a focus on developing empathy, authenticity and honoring the story as a core curriculum gap when teaching grief and loss skills. This case study demonstrates how experiential games, role plays and podcasts have been integrated into the teaching content and provides guidance as to the incorporation of experiential learning activities into formative and summative assessment tasks.

Open Access Status

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Link to publisher version (DOI)