NASW Foundation National Programs
NASW Social Work Pioneers®
William Schwartz (1916 - 1982)
William Schwartz was an influential social work educator and writer whose contributions to the theory and practice of group work as a developmental and rehabilitative force for mutual aid were seminal for the profession. His publications remain among the most widely used for teaching group practice.
William Schwartz spent his early career working for Jewish social service agencies in New York. He began teaching social work after receiving his MSSW from Columbia University.
He taught group work at Ohio State University and the University of Illinois in Chicago before returning to Columbia University in 1962. He remained there until 1977, when he was appointed Professor Emeritus. He was a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Fordham University from 1977 until his untimely death in 1982.
Williams Schwartz earned his EdD from Columbia University in 1960 and his MS from Columbia University School of Social Work in 1948. He earned his BA from Brooklyn College in 1939.
Significant Achievements and Awards
Dr. Lawrence Shulman, Columbia School of Social Work class of 1961, endowed a scholarship in memory of William Schwartz, professor emeritus of social work of CSSW, to benefit their students.
In 2013, The Legacy of William Schwartz: Group Practice as Shared Interaction, Alex Gitterman and Lawrence Shulman, Editors, was published. The book is a collection of essays by prominent scholars and social workers who were influenced by Schwartz’s work.
Schwartz, W. (1976). Between client and system: The mediating function. Theories of social work with groups, 171-197.
Schwartz, W. & Zalba, S.R. (1971). The practice of group work. Oxford, England: Columbia University Press.
Schwartz, W. (1969). Private troubles and public issues: One social work job or two. In Social welfare forum (Vol. 96, pp. 22-43).
Schwartz, W. (1961). The social worker in the group. New perspectives on services to groups: Theory, organization, and practice, 7-34.
Schwartz, W. (1959). Group work and the social scene. Issues in American Social Work, 11-37.