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Social Work Seminar Series: Social Work and Occupational Therapy: Democracy in Action

Social Work and Occupational Therapy are uniquely positioned for inter-professional cooperation due to their shared origins in democracy. Through the work of Jane Addams and John Dewey, the philosophy of democracy has inspired theory within both professions.

Isabel KennedyService-learning is a method of democratic education where students gain real-world learning by providing service to the community. In Occupational Therapy, students work with people in the community to facilitate engagement in meaningful activities. This allows students to learn more about the dynamic relationship between activity, health, and wellbeing. Using a case study perspective, this seminar poses the question: “how can Social Work students also contribute to and benefit from a service-learning programme?”

Isabel Kennedy is a Lecturer in Occupational Therapy in the Department of Clinical Health and Life Sciences. Prior to joining Brunel University, she worked in mental health in occupational therapy led support services for university students. Her practice experience also involves working with homeless adults who have intellectual disabilities by developing and facilitating community-based independent living skills programmes. In 2018 she was awarded her PhD from Trinity College Dublin, University of Dublin for her research exploring service-learning as a democratic pedagogy, focusing on transformational relationships and shared community/university outcomes. Isabel’s research interests are in democracy, education, reflective practices, student wellbeing and community participation and engagement.

No need to book your place, just turn up!

Dr. Yohai Hakak
Senior Lecturer In Social Work
T +44 (0) 1895 265844 | E yohai.hakak@brunel.ac.uk