Skip to main content
Integrating Critical Consciousness into Direct Social Work Practice: A Pedagogical View
Social Work Education (2011)
  • Cassandra L. Bransford, Binghamton University--SUNY
An unnecessary and unfortunate divide has existed historically within social work both in the United States and also in the United Kingdom between social reform or anti-oppressive practice, and direct social work practice or social care. In this article, the limitations of such a dichotomy will be explored, and ways that social work educators may more effectively integrate critical reflection approaches into their pedagogical practices will be identified. Building upon Denzin's methodological elaboration of C. Wright Mills' concept of private troubles–public issues, this article will discuss the usefulness of applying methods from critical, interpretive qualitative research to help social workers achieve critical consciousness in social work education and practice. This article will also address ways to help social work students overcome impediments to achieving critical consciousness, including the anxiety attendant upon changing one's belief systems. Finally, this article will describe the development of a concentration-year MSW elective, Transformative Social Work Practice, which sought to assist social work students in becoming more critically reflexive in their clinical work.
  • anti-discriminatory practice,
  • Higher Education,
  • Practice Teaching,
  • Social Justice,
  • Diversity,
  • Multicultural Perspectives,
  • Reflection
Publication Date
January 13, 2011
Publisher Statement
This is metadata for an article published by Taylor & Francis in the Social Work Education Journal on January 13, 2011, available online:
Citation Information
Bransford, C.L. (2011). Integrating critical consciousness into direct social work practice: A pedagogical view. Social Work Education, 30(8), 932-947.