Service-Learning and Social Work Competency-Based Education: A "Goodness of Fit"?


  • Amy Phillips University of North Dakota



Service-learning, social work, competency-based education


As social work education moves to a competency-based approach, faculty are increasing their use of pedagogical tools designed to provide students with opportunities, in addition to traditional field placements, to develop practice skills. Faculty are no doubt turning to service-learning, and other forms of experiential education, to provide these opportunities and to offer an additional means for departments to demonstrate and measure student practice behaviors. To help focus the use of service-learning in social work education, this article uses sources from the larger service-learning field and from social work scholarship to examine the nature of service-learning, to review current service-learning trends, to summarize its use in social work education, and to raise questions about its goodness of fit with competency-based education.

Author Biography

Amy Phillips, University of North Dakota

Assistant Professor, Social Work