Vol. 1 No. 2 (2024): Abolitionist Perspectives in Social Work

Getting to the Root: Bridging the Micro-Macro Divide Using the Critical Transformative Potential Development Framework

Simone Snyder
Rutgers University

Published 02/21/2024


  • critical transformative potential development model,
  • critical consciousness,
  • transformative potential,
  • radial social work,
  • food justice,
  • social action,
  • macro social work
  • ...More


The discussions about the micro-macro divide in social work often neglect to address how this fabricated rift undermines the mission of social work. Social work students are graduating and entering the field without the confidence and skills required for engaging in macro-level practice. This case study offers a radical approach to social work pedagogy that enables educators to dismantle the micro-macro divide while simultaneously inspiring social change agents by applying the critical transformative potential development model (CTPD) (Jemal, 2022). CTPD is a liberatory framework that social workers can use to bridge the disconnect between micro and macro practice and teach about social issues by stimulating critical reflection, instilling a sense of accountability, and inspiring social action. Using CTPD to teach about food insecurity and construct a community-based food project using micro and macro-level tools allowed students to broaden their analysis of the issue and develop a deeper understanding of the connections between micro and macro practice. Using CTPD as a pedagogical tool will not only increase the critical consciousness and potential for action of students, but it will also demonstrate the interconnectedness of micro and macro practice, a first step in envisioning an abolitionist future.