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Return to Social Work: Learning Materials

Module 3: Reflective Self

Reflective practice is a theme that runs throughout the return to social work materials. Module 3 considers critical reflection in practice in more detail with a particular focus on experiential learning. In this module you will have the opportunity to explore the reflective process and see how this links to supervision, working with others, and its role in enhancing professional development. The second important theme in this module is that of evidence-based practice. Social workers use evidence to inform professional decisions and judgements. This module highlights the importance of practice being based on the best available information. Later modules pick up this important theme and explore the role of research findings and best practice approaches in assessments and report writing (see Module 7). The module introduces a number of well known reflective models including Gibbs (1988) who highlighted the role of feelings and Kolb (1984) whose work helped to identify different learning styles. It also introduces a newer model by Bogg and Challis (2013) that emphasises the role of outcomes as a rich source for reflection and in shaping future experiences. It also sets out the model defined by Morrison (2005) which made the link between effective supervision and effective practice and identified seven key elements of quality social work supervision.