Civic Professionalism: Using Service Learning to Educate Social Work Students as Citizens


  • Tracey Kathleen Burke University of Alaska Anchorage



Service learning, citizenship, civic education, social justice, professionalization


Schools of social work have put considerable energy into civic engagement and community partnership. Despite the attention paid to the civic mission of the university and/or of the profession, however, very little attention has been paid to the civic education of social work students. It will be argued here that social work education must include discussions about citizenship and democracy, about participating in our communities apart from our work. Service learning, with its emphasis on civic learning and a complementary focus on social justice, provides both a lens and a pedagogy for accomplishing this.

Author Biography

Tracey Kathleen Burke, University of Alaska Anchorage

Associate Professor of Social Work