Local communities throughout the world are increasingly confronted by the impact of globalization and the influence of significant geopolitical and socio-economic forces. These constituents, especially marginalized groups, are facing unprecedented challenges such as refugee migration, poverty, human trafficking, disease, natural disasters, gender violence, and conflict. Organizations currently in place to address these global issues are endlessly grappling with concerns over priorities, resources, and policy/political implications in their efforts to meet unparalleled human need. It is essential that a pedagogical approach underscoring a rights-based discourse as well as a framework to address privilege and the dynamics of oppression be integrated into professional education preparing students to work effectively with communities and organizations in a global context. This interactive workshop will examine graduate social work curriculum that highlights diversity, human rights, and social justice while emphasizing didactic strategies designed to cultivate a comprehensive knowledge base, encourage cultural humility, and develop a wide-ranging worldview through a critical lens. The primary objectives of the workshop are to share cross-cultural backgrounds in relation to similar teaching experiences, deconstruct content to enhance instructional methods, and glean unique perspectives through participant reflection and dialogue. The facilitators will provide a brief presentation of the overall course content and evaluative data measuring student outcomes then participants will have the opportunity through guided activities to assess course assignments, observe student videos, and experience first-hand course exercises. The ultimate goal is that this workshop will result in professional capacity building as a way to affect positive change in global communities.
Globalization, Rights-based Discourse, Diversity, Privilege, Oppression, Capacity Building, Global Practice
Community Diversity and Governance
Indiana University, United States
I have been with the Indiana University School of Social Work for over eleven years as a full-time lecturer and prior to that had worked as an adjunct for 12 years. My professional experiences include working with child welfare, juvenile justice policy and programming, mental health research, school social work, and both clinical and community practice. Because of the lecturer role, I originally taught courses across the spectrum in the undergraduate and graduate programs. That opportunity was a gift as I identified early on the value of consistently relating content areas like practice, theory, research and policy as a way of preparing students thoroughly for the professional arena. In recent years, I have concentrated on graduate courses that address policy, community and global practice, issues of oppression, and human rights. Additionally, I have been fortunate to work with outstanding colleagues and have benefitted greatly from research and experiences that highlight international efforts. Indiana University has a robust study abroad program and the School of Social Work has capitalized on the resources available and fostered others so that numerous students each year are completing international short-term study courses or one-to-two semester practicums. Over the last several years, in conjunction with accreditation, we have also developed new courses that students take in their first two semesters. One course offers a foundation in diversity, human rights and social justice, while the other emphasizes social work practice in a global context. Initial assessments of these courses have shown the effectiveness of this content area in advancing a more comprehensive knowledge base and an expanded worldview. For this particular conference, Dr. Jessica Lee and I hope to share some of these results through an interactive workshop in an endeavor to communicate relevant information, engage with other professionals who work in a large-scale milieu, and augment collaborative learning partnerships. Our primary goal is to create a study abroad program that explores refugee migration in relation to human rights and policy, comparing and contrasting the refugee experiences in the United States with other countries.
Assistant Professor, Indiana University, United States