Integrating neuroscience knowledge into social work education: A case-based approach


New knowledge from the rapidly growing field of neuroscience has important implications for our understanding of human behavior in the social environment, yet little of this knowledge has made its way into social work education. This article presents a model for integrating neuroscience into instruction on human development, the biopsychosocial model, psychopathology, and social work theory. Key concepts such as critical periods of brain development, neural plasticity, memory, cognition, and the impact of stress and trauma are discussed. Case studies and discussion questions are used to demonstrate the integration of neuroscience knowledge into social work education. We argue that teaching neuroscience will enhance students' critical thinking skills and better prepare them for direct and policy practice. © 2011 Council on Social Work Education Inc. All rights reserved.

Publication Title

Journal of Social Work Education