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Constructivism: A Framework for Social Work Practice

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on 25 November 2013

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Transcript of Constructivism: A Framework for Social Work Practice

7505 Theoretical Presentation
Constructivism: A Conceptual Framework for Social Work Treatment
Kaitlin Graves & April Micheau
People construct their own understanding and knowledge of the world through experiences and reflection of those experiences.

Social Constructivism
Culture and context impact understanding what occurs in society and constructing knowledge based on this understanding.
Major Concepts
Learning process
Exploration and discovery
Structure determinism
Structural Coupling
Real World Constraints
The Frontier Category
John Dewey
Proposed a method of "directed living"
Real-world, practical workshops
Opportunities for personal thought and articulation
Initially constructed as a theory for the classroom
Jean Piaget
Construct knowledge through creating and testing theories
Discovery learning
Sensitivity to readiness
Acceptance of differences
Jerome Bruner
Learning as an active, social process
Social interaction as the foundation of learning
Dialogue and reflection
Knowledge as a building process
Lev Vygotsky
Social constructivism
Learning through social interactions and relationships
Learning through doing
Interpretation, articulation, and re-evaluation
Implications for
Social Work
Constructing a New Reality
Let Your Client be the Teacher
The "Many Worlds" Mindset
Collaboration of Ideas
Externalizing the Problem
Client Self-Determination
Being Culturally Competent
Treatment of Adolescents
Life Application
Furman, R., Jackson, R. L., Downey, E., & Shears, J. (2003). Social constructivist practice with youth.
Child & Adolescent Social Work Journal, 20
(4), 263-275.

Lee, M., Greene, G.J., (1999). A social constructivist framework for intergrating cross-cultural issues in teaching clinical social work.
Journal of Social Work Education, 35

McPhee, D. M. & Bronstein, L. (2002). Constructing meaning: Strengthening the policy-practice link. Social Work Education, 21(6), 651-662.

Turner F. (2011)
Social Work Treatment
, New York, NY: The Free Press







Premodern: 6th century BC - Middle Ages
Modern: Renaissance - end of 19th century
Postmodern/Constructivist: 20th century - present
"Humans are the measure of all things--of things that are, that they are, of things that are not, that they are not."
Protagoras of Abdera (Greek philosophist, c. 490 AD)
George Kelly
Personal constructs
World vs. mind
Paul Watzlawick
Realness of an "objective" world
More desirable worlds
Humberto Maturana & Francisco Varela
Animal experimentation
Begin with parts of the whole
Strict adherence to program or intervention
Clinician gives and client receives
Clinician has authoritative role
Knowledge is passive

Traditional Session
Constructivist Session
Begins with whole then moves to individual parts
More lenient/moves with the client
Clinician builds on prior knowledge of client
Clinician interacts with client and learns from them as well
Knowledge changes with experience
Full transcript