Session: Challenges and Opportunities for Social Work Pedagogy: Teaching from the Margins (Society for Social Work and Research 24th Annual Conference - Reducing Racial and Economic Inequality)

145 Challenges and Opportunities for Social Work Pedagogy: Teaching from the Margins

Friday, January 17, 2020: 3:45 PM-5:15 PM
Supreme Court, ML 4 (Marriott Marquis Washington DC)
Cluster: Research on Social Work Education (RSWE)
Diana Melendez, MSW, The Graduate Center, City University of New York, Tiffany Younger, The Graduate Center, City University of New York, Gleneara Bates, MSW, The Graduate Center, City University of New York, Ryan Camire, LCSW, The Graduate Center, City University of New York and Camron Rasmussen, The Graduate Center, City University of New York
Social work education remains tasked with preparing the next generation of agents of social change through the attainment of skills and knowledge that address our biggest social problems through classroom and field practice experiences. In an increasingly austere and neoliberal socio-political environment, social work programs are part of a national trend in which adjunctification and the push for online learning challenge social work educators to find effective, engaging and meaningful ways to engage students. Simultaneously, students demand that their learning process and content is grounded in the values of the profession of equity and justice across race, class, gender identity, sexual orientation and other dimensions of identity. Often caught in the middle of these two dynamics are doctorate students who are part of the growing labor force being deployed by higher education to meet the demands of increasing enrollment numbers while managing funding constraints. In efforts to address their own legacy of racial and economic inequalities, programs have looked to make access to higher education more equitable, however, once enrolled there is little support for doctoral students who themselves must navigate often inhospitable structural environments. Doctorate students find themselves in a unique role of being able to identify as students as well as educators and therefore this overlapping space in a professional's academic development presents opportunities for key questions about social work higher education to be explored.

This workshop will be centered at the intersection of the experience of doctorate students who, like many across the nation, have been placed in the role of educator. Speakers will present multiple perspectives, including challenges and opportunities of teaching while learning how to teach, as well as share specific examples of pedagogical and resources which participants can use.

Some of the questions that will be addressed through critical dialogue and interactive engagement (pairs and small group discussions) will be: What are ways women of color, and members of other historically marginalized groups, can engage in critical pedagogical methods which disrupt the traditional banking model of education and integrate social justice practices without compromising their legitimacy as scholars? What is the role of White educators? What are ways that social work educators tasked with online courses, critically engage with interactive digital technology in ways that foster community and continue to account for questions of access based on racial and economic inequalities? How can social work programs integrate concepts from other fields like Education, Digital Humanities, such as universal design and scaffolding, to better prepare doctorate students in their work as educators?

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