The focus of this course unit is primarily on the student’s personal development towards a social work professional, using the Model of Professional Identity as conceptualized by Manon C.P. Ruijters and the framework of 21st Century Skills. Throughout the course unit, several current affairs topics will be introduced that serve as a means to develop a personal vision on the social work practice in today’s society.
The student is the architect of a self-driven learning process, in which he assesses his own learning needs and goals, plans his own actions and evaluates whether these goals are met. To acquire this, the student will interact with fellow students and actively consult with the teacher about the different aspects of their personal and professional development.
To accommodate the articulation of this process and stimulate active reflection, the student will be challenged to creatively express himself in relation to the content of the course unit.
The model of professional identity
This model, developed by Manon C.P. Ruijters, serves as the main framework to think and talk about professional development and identity. The different components of the model provide us with a means to examine the aspects of professional identity in relation to personal vision, values, skills, experience and aspirations.
Personal talents, frames of reference and the core competencies of social work
To be a professional social worker means you can present yourself as you are, based on your background, talents and competencies. Many people are reluctant to talk about themselves in this way, as it is often labelled as “bragging”. Still, developing a language to describe who you are professionally, is easier than you might think and is essential in the development process to being a professional social worker.
21th Century skills: social and cultural competence, critical thinking and creativity
The world we live in has never been more complex. Or has it? Developing a well-founded personal vision on the role of social work in contemporary society defines you as a professional and sets you apart from others. Social workers don’t jump onto bandwagons (or do they?) and that takes awareness, critical thinking and creativity. How will we face the challenges of the 21st century?
Current affairs and social issues: sustainability, diversity and media literacy
How to save the planet? How to battle racism? Is the world really as bad as the media would have us believe? There are no simple answers to these questions, but we as social workers are definitely in some way part of the solution, so we delve into these topics with an open mind and try to determine how we can make a difference as professionals.