The Generalist Model: Where do the Micro and Macro Converge?

  • Shari E. Miller University of Georgia
  • Carolyn J. Tice University of Maryland Baltimore County
  • Diane M. Harnek Hall Towson University
Keywords: Generalist model, macro practice, macro learning, social work education


Although macro issues are integral to social work, students continue to struggle with the acquisition of knowledge and skills pertaining to larger systems. Educators have developed innovative methods to integrate learning across systems of various sizes however it appears an imbalance persists. This challenge is supported by baccalaureate student responses to a social work program evaluation. Four years of data from 295 undergraduate students revealed that they felt less prepared to practice with larger, macro systems. Changes in curriculum to reflect collaboration and holism, and more research are needed to adequately provide macro learning and macro practice opportunities within the generalist model and in the context of the current socio-economic-political environment.

Author Biographies

Shari E. Miller, University of Georgia
Assistant Professor, School of Social Work
Carolyn J. Tice, University of Maryland Baltimore County
DSW, Associate Dean
Diane M. Harnek Hall, Towson University
Ph.D., Assistant Professor