1.2 Hearing about critical practice
Listen to the following audio clips, ‘Panel discussion on critical practice’, Part 1: Critical practice.
Transcript: Panel discussion 1a
Transcript: Panel discussion 1b
Compare your notes from Activity 1 with the views of the panel. Answer the following questions:
What areas of overlap were there between your views and those of the panel members?
Did you detect any differences between the views of the academics, the manager, and the practitioner? Were they significant? If so, how?
Has your perspective changed as a result of listening to this discussion? If so, in what ways?
Listening to people talk about social work, from their particular point of view, can often add new dimensions to your understanding of what different issues mean to you. The two practitioners were clear that ‘being critical’ was essential to their approaches to practice. This was reinforced by both the academic speakers. The academics added that, while critical practice can sound very theoretical, or philosophical, because it requires practitioners to question their assumptions and not just take things for granted, this critical questioning approach isn't simply introspective and reflective; it must also lead to action and change. The social worker's main tool for action and change is ‘talk’.
The next session will illustrate this point by introducing you to some arguments about how talk enables and constructs the nature of your practice.