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Wednesday, June 22 • 14:45 - 15:35
CON03.03 - Can’t see the forest for the trees? or is it: Can’t see the roots for the leaves?

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The co-creators of this fifty minute workshop teach a course within a professional social work program called Advancing Social Justice. The course is grounded in a hybrid learning theory labeled “transformative experiential pedagogy” (Campbell and Baikie, 2013, p. 454) and relies on a teaching methodology called critically reflective analysis. As an adaptation of the Fook/Gardner model of critical reflection (Baikie, Campbell, Thornhill, & Butler, 2012; Fook & Gardner, 2007) this methodology emphasizes the need to “explicitly surface the fundamental values, assumptions and beliefs that inform personal and/or professional perspectives and behaviours” (Campbell and Baikie, 2013, p. 453). The instructors have developed a myriad of metaphors, exercise, and resources to enrich the teaching and learning process in the context of both face to face and on line instruction.

As this is an interactive workshop the presenters will assume that most participants are familiar with the theoretical foundations of transformative education and will only briefly theoretically situate their work. After presenting the ‘The Tree Metaphor’, a reoccurring metaphor used throughout the course (hence the workshop title), they will lead participants though three experiential exercises: ‘Should I sleep with my boyfriend?’, ‘Why are we changing maps?’, and ‘Creation stories’. Although time constraints mean that each exercise will be explored in an abbreviated form session participants will engage in small and large group discussions, role plays, and watch a short video.

Through participating in this workshop participants will
  • Be able to theoretically situate the metaphors, exercises, and resources shared during the session
  • Experience, in an abbreviated fashion, some of the experiential classroom exercises designed to aid students in surfacing, identifying, and potentially changing assumptions
  • Learn how these experiential exercises are utilized within face to face and on line instruction

Baikie, G., Campbell, C., Thornhill, J., & Butler, J. (2012). An on line critical reflection dialogue group. In J. Fook & F. Gardner (Eds.), Critical reflection in context: Specific applications in health and social care. Oxford: Routledge.

Campbell, C. & Baikie, G. (2013) Teaching critical reflection in the context of a social justice course. Reflective Practice, 14 (4). Available from http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14623943.2013.806299#.UcMYgkrTC2U

Fook, J., & Gardner, F. (2007). Practising critical reflection: A resource handbook. Berkshire: Open University Press.


Carolyn Campbell

Carolyn Campbell is an Associate Professor at the School of Social Work, Dalhousie University. As an educator and social worker she has focused on congruence between the content and processes of education for critical practice. She is Past President of the Canadian Association for... Read More →

Additional Authors

Gail Baikie

Gail Baikie is an Assistant Professor at the School of Social Work, Dalhousie University. She has had a lengthy professional career primarily related to the social development of Indigenous peoples. The identification and development of decolonizing and indigenous methods for research... Read More →

Wednesday June 22, 2016 14:45 - 15:35 EDT