Reflections on practice: collaborative writing as a critically reflective activity

2017-06-02T01:08:50Z (GMT) by McAuliffe, Donna Chenoweth, Lesley
This article chronicles the collaborative partnership that was established to submit a book proposal to an Australian publisher, and reflects on the process of writing an introductory text aimed at building a literature bridge between social work and human service practice. The book, entitled ‘The Road to Social Work and Human Service Practice: An Introductory Text’ (Chenoweth and McAuliffe 2005) was published by Thomson Learning. The authors are social work practitioners turned academics, who worked together in an Australian school of social work. The idea for this book was borne from the author’s shared experiences of social work practice and education, and awareness of the increasingly contested space that professional degrees occupy in the field of human services. At a time when common ground is being sought between those working in designated social work positions requiring eligibility for membership of the professional association, and those with a range of other degrees in human services, community practice, counselling and social policy, the development of common purpose, values, frameworks and theory is critical. The writing of texts for social work and human service practice in this contemporary environment is challenging, and this article gives examples of some of those challenges within a context of reflection on social work education and practice. This paper argues that collaborative writing can be a powerful strategy for critical reflection on practice.