Session: Conducting and Evaluating a Racial Equity Curriculum Review (Society for Social Work and Research 24th Annual Conference - Reducing Racial and Economic Inequality)

194 Conducting and Evaluating a Racial Equity Curriculum Review

Saturday, January 18, 2020: 8:00 AM-9:30 AM
Monument, ML 4 (Marriott Marquis Washington DC)
Cluster: Research on Social Work Education (RSWE)
Stephanie Bryson, PhD, Portland State University, Gita Mehrotra, PhD, Portland State University and Jessica Rodriguez-JenKins, PhD, LICSW, Portland State University
A recent qualitative content analysis of social justice and diversity syllabi, however, reveals a modest social work literature on the actual content of curricula intended to achieve CSWE competencies. Moreover, beyond ‘diversity' and ‘social justice' scholarship, few research articles or frameworks for curricular review exist which primarily address racial equity. It is notable that current NASW and CSWE mission statements lack explicit mention of racial equity. While many articles and texts—largely from the UK, New Zealand, and Australia—have focused in the last 15 years on anti-oppressive practice and antiracism education, little has been published on successful curricular review processes and methodologies that seek to bring about racial equity, specifically, in both curriculum and pedagogy.

This presentation contributes to this underdeveloped area of social work education. In response to the current political environment, in which white supremacy has been sanctioned at the highest levels of U.S. government, and as part of a larger effort in our school to center racial equity, our BSW program adopted the following curriculum statement in 2016: “In recognition of the many voices which are and have been excluded in curriculum, members of Bachelors of Social Work program have committed to an ongoing critical review of our texts and materials with a focus on decolonizing, decentering, and challenging dominant perspectives. We are committed to centering in our curriculum the voices of people who experience racism, classism, sexism, heterocentrism, ableism, nativism, islamophobia, xenophobia, and all other forms oppressions. With a particular focus on addressing racial inequities, we commit to include in all our offered courses a preponderance of materials and texts from nondominant perspectives.

This workshop describes our efforts, over the past two years, to improve our curriculum—implicit and explicit—so that it accords with our guiding curriculum commitment. Using frameworks drawn from education, policy implementation, feminist and critical race theory, popular education and leadership/management we present a methodology for systematic social work curricular review which centers racial equity.

Objectives: At the end of the workshop, participants will be able to: Identify technical and adaptive challenges to conducting an effective racial equity curriculum review; Articulate a curriculum review statement and methodology; Plan tailored, program specific steps to complete a racial equity curriculum review using methods from policy implementation; Recognize faculty development activities which promote inclusive pedagogy and support curricular innovation; Formulate an evaluation plan to measure impact of curricular review.

The workshop includes hands-on, small group activities intended to help attendees: 1) craft a curriculum statement to guide curricular review; 2) use an organizational audit strategy drawn from policy implementation (Sandfort & Moulton, 2015) to select composite ‘target' students to hold in mind while undergoing curricular improvements; 3) generate sequence specific enduring (Wiggins & McTighe, 2011) or essential (Erickson, 2012) understandings; 4) crosswalk these enduring understandings with CSWE competencies; 5) anticipate, normalize and manage technical issues and adaptive challenges (Heifetz, Linsky, & Grashow); and 6) evaluate the impact on student experience of substantial curricular change.

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