Utilising the 'common third' to enhance social work education

Elizabeth McCreadie
2020 International journal of social pedagogy  
This article considers the utilisation of the common third to prepare social work students for practice by engaging with education in the broadest sense of the term ( Jackson and Cameron, 2011 ). Quality social work practitioners need fully developed reflective capacities to assist with the complex issues faced by individuals who experience marginalisation, discrimination, and inequality. In order to help develop autonomous and critical thinkers, which is of the utmost importance for social
more » ... ance for social work, this article considers the value of the common third as part of the learning process. The common third, using activities to strengthen relationships, enhances social work practice and this article evaluates a three-day residential experience of outdoor pursuits in partnership with students, service users, practice educators, and teaching staff. This experience has been undertaken for several years at the University of West London, funded by the Education Support Grant from the Department of Health. Until now only anecdotal accounts were available; however, in 2018 staff sought written and verbal feedback from participants to assist in the writing of this article. This is based on the 2018 experience of 45 first-year social work students, six academic staff members, three service users, and two social work practice educators. The findings support the positive anecdotal accounts given to date and highlight the benefits of the common third in social work education.
doi:10.14324/111.444.ijsp.2020.v9.x.006 fatcat:iq722xyyxnb27neg7lxbhlsw3y