Chapter One lays the foundations for the rest of the book. It is divided into five sections, beginning with a discussion of the question: Why am I learning this? The focus here is on making sure that students are aware of why they need to know about each of the different aspects of the curriculum. This is followed by an outline of some aspects of social work practice that are often not covered on courses. This leads into a discussion of the central role of values in both practice and education. Critically reflective practice is also covered, presented as a fundamental basis of safe and effective practice. Finally, attention is paid to the importance of getting the course off to a good start.