Growing Out of the Academic Box: Social Justice through Art and Collaboration


  • Aravindhan Natarajan University of Toledo
  • Heather Sloane University of Toledo


art, science, collaboration, art collaboration, art therapy, social justice, critical theory, feminist theory, cultural studies, quantitative research, qualitative research, Art, social work, collaboration


Two social work colleagues reflect on their combined efforts to create an academic work climate supportive of a blend of art and science logics. Both share their frustration about the separation between art and science in social work and share experiences of the possibility of using art in their efforts to increase opportunities for critical teaching and learning in a social work program. The partners have actively engaged artists, scholars from the humanities, and scientists in conversation and collaboration for social justice. Both colleagues discuss the collaboration process and dissect the ways in which experiences with art and science can be helpful to social work understanding and competence. One of the biggest challenges in blending art with science in social work is finding and creating the structure to support this combined work.



How to Cite

Natarajan, A., & Sloane, H. (2017). Growing Out of the Academic Box: Social Justice through Art and Collaboration. Reflections: Narratives of Professional Helping, 22(4), 60–71. Retrieved from



Teaching & Learning