Critical thinking as a process can appear formal and academic, far removed from everyday life where decisions have to be taken quickly in less than ideal conditions. However, now more than ever, it is seen as a vital part of social work, and indeed any healthcare and leadership practice within the current agenda for integration, and in the post Francis inquiry health care context.
This Fourth Edition now reflects this wider arena, but also includes new material in response to the continuing review of social work professional standards. It continues to take a pragmatic look at the range of ideas associated with critical thinking, focusing on learning and development for practice. The chapter on professional judgement has been extended to provide a wider discussion on practical reasoning and judgement in relation to developing expertise, while other chapters and reading lists have also been updated, and activities revised to enhance learning.
The authors continue to emphasise the importance of sound, moral judgement based on critical thinking and practical reasoning; while also acknowledging the tensions for staff and teams facing complex, uncertain situations and sometimes oppressive workplace cultures. Their hope is that increased and informed attention to your thinking can help nurture wise deliberation and action in such challenging times.