1 x 1-hour lecture weekly
1 x 1-hour tutorial weekly
Course context
Bachelor of Social Work
Multiple choice quizzes; Essay
Topic description
Critical thinking and communication are central to social interventions that work for social justice and social change. The interpretation of social issues and the design and implementation of responses to them requires an ability to critically assess and analyse a vast amount of information, competing perspectives and values on what ought to be done. This requires analytical and communication abilities and self awareness; abilities that are ongoing qualities of a reflexive practitioner. This topic is an introduction to the core principles and practices of critical thought and communication. It will introduce this material in ways that supports the student to engage with their own experiences, thoughts and communication strengths. Critical thinking consists of an awareness of a set of interrelated critical questions, plus the ability and willingness to ask and answer them at appropriate times. It is a person's ability to rationally evaluate their world, searching for understanding of ideas and theories. In doing so we also learn to better know ourselves.
Educational aims
This topic aims to provide students with:
  • an introduction to principles of critical thinking in the context of social justice practice;
  • the introductory knowledge and fundamental skills required for interpretation and critical evaluation in the social science
  • self awareness of values, beliefs, ethics and perceptions of the world and reflexivity in student learning
  • an understanding of the ways in which values, beliefs, ethics and perceptions of the world influence our daily personal and professional lives
  • the opportunity to use skills in critical analysis to deconstruct a current social issue and analyse it from a variety of standpoints
  • capacities to work independently, and as part of a team, and communicate confidently in an informed and respectful manner with peers and colleagues.
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of this topic, students are expected to be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of ideas and components of critical thinking
  • Put forward and evaluate arguments
  • Identify the relationship between critical thinking and reasoning
  • Demonstrate inquisitiveness, and willingness to examine and question their views and beliefs
  • Explore the knowledge they have about the world, including understanding how knowledge is organised and acquired
  • Demonstrate an understanding of criticality as practice, in their personal and professional lives
  • Work independently and as part of a team, manage time, plan work to a schedule, and communicate confidently and in an informed and respectful manner with peers