Pandemic Possibilities in Crip Time: Disrupting Social Work Field Education

Kaia M Arrow, Zachary Sera Grant


COVID-19 allows for new possibilities of entry into social work education by reconceptualizing professional white time. Prior to the pandemic, students were often required to engage in learning at prescribed times, or white time. As a result of digital classroom learning and field practicums, COVID-19 has allowed for a queering of previously restrictive notions of time. Kafer (2013) called this flexible approach to time and its resultant expectations crip time. Building on Kafer’s crip time, which centres disabled bodyminds above normative structures of time, we suggest that remote placement offers social work education an opportunity to explore new and radical approaches to recentring learning and justice within field practicums. Approaching student practicums from a disability-justice perspective, we argue, allows for more accessibility while challenging notions of professionalism and traditional student–supervisor dichotomies. Weaving together story and theory, we share the tensions elicited by applying crip time and critical approaches to professionalism within our research-based social work practicum. We share our experiences and offer a queered lens through which the social work practicum can be re-envisioned as a site of radical social work values, including disability justice.


crip time; disability justice; professionalism; queering; bodyminds

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