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The Use of Self

The Essence of Professional Education

Raymond Fox

Publication Date - 01 July 2011

ISBN: 9780190616144

196 pages
6.3 x 9 inches


The finest teachers attempt to make direct connections between classroom knowledge and its application to the varieties of practice. Ray Fox emphasizes that a teacher of future practitioners must expand upon lectures and mere memorization; the interaction between teacher and student should substantially model ones that students are encouraged to employ with clients.

The Use of Self presents an active, learner-centered process of professional education that emphasizes relationships and reflection in the classroom. The book shows how teachers can establish classroom environments of sharing, openness, challenge, and change. According to the author, the goal of higher education is to mold students into scientifically sophisticated, humane, and client-centered practitioners with knowledge grounded in discipline and skills anchored in art and compassion. This book will help professors accomplish this goal.

Part 1 integrates conceptual knowledge with affective and experiential processes. These chapters focus on artistry and creativity in teaching. Part 2 describes methods to help students establish a sound professional identity and prepare for effective professional functioning. The author presents ways to involve students in adapting course content and direction so as to merge their styles of learning with the instructor's style of teaching, thus providing an environment conducive to shaping professional minds. Part 3 provides teaching methods and tools that promote reflection and encourage students to relate to classmates and, eventually, clients.


  • Emphasis on the congruence between what happens in the classroom and in the practitioner's office
  • Six interdependent methods included to advance relational acuity and thoughtful reflection-journaling, movies, storytelling, case/critical incident, photography and art, and role playing
  • Encourages teachers to experiment with hands-on strategies

About the Author(s)

Raymond Fox (MPA, PhD, New York University; MSW, Fordham University) is professor emeritus of social work at Fordham University. He taught advanced graduate courses in professional development, social work education, and social work practice. He has led workshops and seminars on teaching methodology and curriculum for university faculty development. He has served as a training, research, and organizational consultant to an array of national and international mental health, family, and child welfare organizations. Professor Fox has authored over 50 professional journal articles and book chapters, as well as three books.

Table of Contents

    Part I: Basic Principles
    1 Introduction
    2 Musings about Teaching and Learning
    3 Personal Presence and the Safe Class
    4 The Matrix of Modeling, Mentoring, and Mirroring
    5 Reflection and Self-Awareness
    Part II: Effective Processes
    6 Intersecting Styles: Teaching to Strengths
    7 Lesson Architecture
    8 Writing for Insightful Reflection
    9 Movies: Media as Message
    10 Storytelling
    11 Case/Critical Incident
    12 Photography, Art, and Quasi-art
    13 Role Playing