Each student brings to this course and to the social work field, their own unique way of viewing the world. That worldview will influence the student’s integration of the content from this course and the development of a beginning theory-based framework for social work practice. This assignment will allow the student to explore this personal world view and the implications of the student’s world view to professional social work practice. A personal paradigm or world view is a statement about how each individual considers people and the environment in which he or she lives. It is a composite of values – ideas about how things should be and theories – explanations about why things are the way they are. It is important to understand one’s own personal paradigm because it influences all future learning and shapes how you practice. Therefore, self-awareness is an important element of this assignment. For this assignment, you will write an 8-10 page double-spaced essay/reflection paper that is a statement of your social identity, values, implicit biases and worldview. Then apply this to the social work profession. Make sure to address the following nine questions and use them as a guide in your essay: What values are most important to you and why? Where did these values come from? (Parents? Life experiences? Peers? Mentors?) How have these values influenced your life in other ways? (Please provide concrete examples) What attitudes, beliefs, or knowledge do you use to explain the world and human behavior? What do you believe are the causes of individual and/or societal problems? What is your perspective about change? Have the lenses of privilege and of oppression influenced your life? (Note: this is a primary question that requires a significant amount of reflection in the paper as it is the core of the assignment). With regards to the social work profession: What values and biases do you bring to your attitudes regarding social work? In what ways do your intersecting identities (race, ethnicity, social class, gender, sexual orientation, ability status, age, citizenship status, religion) influence your perceptions of social problems and solutions? This assignment does not require references to the literature, however, feel free to cite references you feel are essential to demonstrating your view. As such, I am not requiring a certain number of references, yet thoughtful and critical use of referenced material is strongly suggested and will ultimately weigh in with regards to grading. Additional grading criteria will be based on depth of reflection, organization and flow of paper as a whole, demonstration of critical thinking, grammar/punctuation and APA formatting style.