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Applying Critical Thinking and Analysis in Social Work

Applying Critical Thinking and Analysis in Social Work

June 2019 | 208 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

This highly practical guidebook will help you develop the critical and analytical skills essential to your successful social work education and evidence-informed, reflective practice.

Key features include: 

  • Theoretical break down and simplification of key theories
  • How to avoid common pitfalls
  • Activities to help you cement your learning
  • Case studies applicable in practice.

This will support you right from the very beginning of your programme through to the end of your final placement and into practice. 

Part I: An Introduction to Critical Thinking and Analysis
Chapter 1: Introduction to Critical thinking
Chapter 2: Introduction to Critical Knowledge
Part II: An Introduction to Critical Reading and Writing
Chapter 3: Critical Reading
Chapter 4: Critical Writing
Part III: Critical Thinking and Analysis in Practice
Chapter 5: Critical Reflection
Chapter 6: Professional Judgement and Decision Making
Chapter 7: Critical Analysis and Working with Risks and Strengths
Chapter 8: Reflexivity and Use of Self
Chapter 9: Analytical Assessments and Report Writing

This book is a very valuable and rich resource to enable social work students in training to develop effective critical thinking skills and habits. It has excellent content and practice relevant exercises with which to encourage students to develop their critical thinking further both in their academic studies and professional practice.

Jasper Shotts
Dean of Lincoln Academy of Learning and Teaching, University of Lincoln

As the authors of this book suggest, critical thinking is a ‘sought after’ skill in social work practice, yet is something that can be difficult for students to conceptualise. This practical text is written in such a way, that it aims to speak directly to student social workers to help them understand the concept, and application of, critical thinking. A range of models are clearly set out by the authors for students to follow, including helpful themes such as ‘danger points’ which alert students to some of the pitfalls in certain models of thinking.

I therefore recommend this book be used by student social workers throughout their social work degrees to help them develop and master their skills.

Lesley Deacon
Senior Lecturer Applied Social Studies and Social Work, The University of Sunderland

What I like about the book is that it covers the core skills of critical thinking, critical writing and critical reflection. Although it is written at a basic level and does not go into much detail in this complex subject area, it does however provide sufficient material to grasp the fundamental concept of ‘criticality’ when applied to a range of social work activities.

Graham Ixer. Professor of Social Work and Social Policy

This book provides highly practical suggestions for record keeping and report writing, the good practice of which frequently slips from attention and is fraught with pitfalls. Overall, this is an excellent book which is memorable for its fusion of concepts with sheer practicality, no jargon, no acronyms, just clear language and sharp analysis.

Isabel Martin, Independent Practice Teacher, Argyll and Bute, Scotland

Very helpful text to support students in understanding the importance of developing skills in critical thinking and analysis. The summaries at the end of each chapter are very helpful.

Ms Jackie Nellie Yaskey
Department of Psychology, Social Work & Counselling, Greenwich University
December 8, 2023

Very helpful, well written with handy examples and ideas for excercises supporting development and understanding of critical thinking and analysis. Must read for students on professional courses.

Mrs Aga M Buckley
Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education, Kingston University
May 7, 2020

A useful text for students of all levels with good examples.

Dr Steve Hothersall
Social Work, Edge Hill University
August 27, 2020

A very helpful text for those entering social work training in all of the different formats - will be particularly useful for those on apprenticeship programmes applying theory directly to practice.

Mr Luke Tibbits
school of Psychological Social & Behavioural Sciencs, Coventry University
October 21, 2019

An excellent resource when introducing youth justice to social work students

Keith Davies
School of Social Work, Kingston University
February 10, 2020

Really thorough book covering a comprehensive insight into critical thinking and analysis.

Linda Homan
Faculty Of Health And Social Care, Anglia Ruskin University
July 15, 2019