Creating space for critical feminist social work pedagogy




critical feminist pedagogy, intersectionality, social work education, critical hope, imagination


INTRODUCTION: The practice and teaching of western social work is shaped within the institutional context of a predominately managerial higher education sector and neoliberal societal context that valorises the individual. Critical feminist social work educators face constraints and challenges when trying to imagine, co-construct, enact and improve ways to engage in the communal relationality of critical feminist pedagogy.

APPROACH: In this article, the authors draw upon the literature and use a reflective, inductive approach to explore and analyse observations made about efforts to engage with a subversive pedagogy whilst surviving in the neoliberal academy.

CONCLUSION: While the article draws on experiences of social work teaching and research in a regional Australian university, the matters explored are likely to have resonance for social work education in other parts of the world. A tentative outline for thinking about the processes involved in co-creating a critical feminist pedagogical practice is offered.  

Author Biographies

Sarah Bernadette Epstein, Deakin University

Sarah Epstein is a Lecturer in Social Work in the School of Health and Social Development at Deakin University, Australia.

Norah Hosken, Deakin University

Norah Hosken is a Senior Lecturer in Social Work in the School of Health and Social Development at Deakin University, Australia.

Sevi Vassos, Deakin University

Sevi Vassos is a Lecturer in Social Work in the School of Health and Social Development at Deakin University, Australia.


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How to Cite

Epstein, S. B., Hosken, N., & Vassos, S. (2018). Creating space for critical feminist social work pedagogy. Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work, 30(3), 8–18.



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