Developing reflective judgment through MSW education

Cathryn C. Potter, Jean F. East

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Discussion of the nature of critical thinking and the ways in which it can be enhanced has increased in recent years among social work educators, and yet little is known about the impact of MSW education on the critical thinking of students. This paper examines the nature of critical thinking, presents an adult cognitive developmental model, the Reflective Judgment Model (King & Kitchener, 1994), which holds promise for enlarging social work's understanding of critical thinking and examines approaches to teaching which enhance critical thinking. The Reflective Judgment Model focuses on the development of assumptions about knowledge and the process of knowing as development occurs through adulthood. Specific implications for creating classroom and field learning environments are detailed, including characteristics of effective teachers and of effective assignments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)217-237
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Teaching in Social Work
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jun 23 2000
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science


  • Clinical judgment
  • Critical thinking
  • Msw education
  • Problem solving
  • Professional decision-making
  • Reflective judgment


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