An international experience for social work students: Self-reflection through poetry and journal writing exercises

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Journal of Teaching in Social Work, ISSN: 0884-1233, Vol: 28, Issue: 1-2, Page: 71-85

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Furman, Rich; Coyne, Ann; Negi, Nalini Junko
Informa UK Limited
Social Sciences; Social Work
article description
This descriptive article explores the uses of poetry and journaling exercises as means of helping students develop their self-reflective capacities within the context of international social work. First, self-reflection and its importance to social work practice and education is discussed. Second, the importance of self-reflection in international and cross-cultural work is highlighted. Third, the application of poetry and other journal writing exercises as a means of facilitating self-reflection is explored. Poems written in response to structured exercises by students who took part in an international experience in social work education in Leon, Nicaragua, are presented as examples. The exercises presented can be used by educators in various helping professions who seek to help their students expand their self-reflective skills and engage in cross-cultural and international practice. © 2008 by The Haworth Press. All rights reserved.