Holistic Engagement: Transformative Social Work Education in the 21st Century

ISBN : 9780199392728

Loretta Pyles; Gwendolyn Adam
312 Pages
156 x 235 mm
Pub date
Feb 2016
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This text offers innovation and a call to action for educators - engage fully to engage students fully. With stories from the classroom, Holistic Engagement invites and challenges social work, human services and counseling educators to seek meaning in their methods and content in the processes of teaching. Empirically grounded, the authors propose a new model for advancing pedagogy to draw from many ways of knowing and wisdom across traditions. Through rich analysis of globalization, higher education and the social work profession, as well as first person accounts, they co-create a story of holistic pedagogies being employed across the globe. Aiming toward transformative social work practice, the authors discuss the ways that they engage with the whole person (body, mind, heart, culture and spirit) and reveal how such participatory pedagogies strengthen presence, attunement, empathy, professional self-care and the integrative capabilities of social work students and human service professionals. Drawing from a wide range of literature and traditions, from Freire's critical pedagogy to the neuroscience of mindfulness, these engaging essays have much to offer both seasoned and new social work educators, while creating an integrative and realistic conceptual home for them. The authors discuss the uses of theatre, the arts, ritual, mindfulness, critical dialogue, yoga and many other methods that upend the traditional social work classroom. These approaches are used at the undergraduate and graduate levels in a range of courses, including policy, theory and practice. The auto-ethnographical nature of many of the essays will invite educators to reflect on their own pedagogies as they consider the rewards and risks of going beyond the cognitive and engaging the whole person.


Part I: Theoretical and Empirical Foundations of Holistic Engagement
Chapter 1: Educating Transformative Social Workers: The Case for Holistic Pedagogies
Loretta Pyles and Gwendolyn J. Adam
Chapter 2: A New Model for Holistic Engagement: A Foundation for Social Work Pedagogies
Gwendolyn J. Adam and Loretta Pyles

Part II: Dialogue, Participation and Critical Pedagogy
Chapter 3: Learning in Community: A Transformative Healing Educational Model for Teaching Community Organizing
Terry Mizrahi, Esperanza Martell, Kate Cavanagh, and Allison Weingarten
Chapter 4: By the End of The Term, You Will Have Gained Power in the Classroom and I Will Have Lost None: The Pedagogical Value of Discomfort & Vulnerability in the Teaching of Community Practice
Steve Burghardt
Chapter 5: Conversation and Dialogue in Social Work Education
By Benjamin Shepard
Chapter 6: A Deliberate Pedagogy: Introducing the Hidden Curriculum, Social Pedagogy and the Common Third
Mette Christiansen

Part III: Theater, Arts and the Human Spirit
Chapter 7: Mimesis: A Theory for Holistic Engagement
Phil Dybicz
Chapter 8: Improvisation: A Practice for Praxis
Uta Walter
Chapter 9: Teaching to the Holistic Self: A Case Study of a Critical Social Work Classroom
Juliana Svistova, Lara Bowen, and Meera Bhat
Part IV: Mindfulness and Integrative Social Work
Chapter 10: There Is A Path. You Are On It. It Does Lead Somewhere.
David Pettie
Chapter 11: Is Mindfulness Value Free? Tip Toeing through the Mindfield of Mindfulness
Robyn Lynn, Jo Mensinga, Beth Tinning, Kelly Lundman
Chapter 12: Promoting Integrative Mind-Body-Spirit Practice to Advance Holistic Social Work Education
Salome Raheim and Jack J. Lu
Chapter 13: Pedagogy for an Integrative Practice: Experiential Unity Theory and Model
Alyson Quinn
Chapter 14: Re-Constructing Social Work Education: The Path Forward for Holistic Pedagogies
Loretta Pyles and Gwendolyn J. Adam

About the author: 

Loretta Pyles, PhD, MA, is Associate Professor in the School of Social Welfare at the State University of New York at Albany. She is an engaged scholar concerned with transformative social change and holistic social work practice and pedagogy. Her scholarship has centered on the ways that individuals, organizations and communities resist and respond to poverty, violence and disasters in a policy context of neoliberal global capitalism and social welfare retrenchment. She is a certified yoga instructor and utilizes mindfulness and embodied learning in her pedagogy, both in the classroom and in the community.; Gwendolyn J. Adam, PhD, MSW, LICSW, is an Associate Professor at Central Connecticut State University, School of Education and Professional Studies. With a focus on mindful and experiential leadership, accountability in practice and education, and interdisciplinary teamwork, Dr. Adam has developed training curricula, a national strategic plan, competency assessment models and community-based services. She is committed to living and being fully, imperfectly, and to promoting compassionate presence.

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