Self-knowledge is the formation of professional identity in social work students.


  • Maribel Martín-Estalayo Complutense University of Madrid.
  • Mercedes Muriel-Saiz Complutense University of Madrid
  • Ana Belén Domínguez Milanés General Council of Social Work in Spain.
  • Sara Martín-Fontecha González Public Social Service of the Community of Madrid, Spain.


self-knowledge,, social work, student, identity, meaningful learning, quality education


This article analyzes the importance of self-knowledge as basic and transversal competence in social work studies. The university training stage is the most suitable space and time for the future professional to incorporate a look at oneself, to situate oneself in reality in a more conscious and critical way and to reflect on knowledge and skills in a highly complex and changing context where the professional practice is going to be developed. Under this premise and within the framework of a teaching innovation project funded by the Complutense University of Madrid, the impact of a series of pedagogical practices will be evaluated in a group of 72 new Social Work students.

This teaching project aims to contribute to the following Sustainable Development Goals 2030 agenda: Quality Education (SDG 4); Gender Equality (SDG 5), and Reducing Inequalities (SDG10). A quality education must encourage students to acquire knowledge about themselves that translates into a better relationship with society; to consciously position themselves in the face of situations of vulnerability, inequality and social exclusion and imagine the most appropriate responses to intervene in them (SDG 10). Likewise, social work is still a highly feminized profession. The processes of reflection on gender as a hallmark of identity can contribute to the greater empowerment of these professional women (SDG 5).







How to Cite

Martín-Estalayo, M., Saiz, M., Milanés, A., & González , S. (2023). Self-knowledge is the formation of professional identity in social work students. Journal of Social Work Education and Practice, 6(4), 1-09.