Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Training Social Workers to be Inclusive Practitioners: The Role of Faculty Development
by Singh, Melissa I., Ed.D., University of Southern California, 2017, 182; 10686217
Abstract (Summary)

As the landscape of America changes, it is critical for social workers to successfully engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate diverse client populations. As such, it is important for schools of social work to prepare graduate students to engage in “diversity and difference in practice” (Council on Social Work Education, 2015, p. 7). Virtual education holds unique challenges and opportunities for teaching social work students how to address diversity. In this exploratory qualitative study, faculty teaching in an online master of social work degree program participated in focus groups (N = 23), one-on-one interviews (N = 3), and an online survey (N = 70) regarding their experiences teaching diversity. Using the Clark and Estes’ (2008) framework, the findings are categorized by knowledge, motivation, and organizational influences to teaching diversity:

Knowledge: Faculty members need up to date diversity-related information, to understand how their positionality influences pedagogy, to consider the implications of instructor-to-student privilege, to engage all students, to recognize how student regional differences can have an impact on course curriculum and appreciate consistent and continual faculty reflection , which may enhance pedagogy.

Motivation: Faculty members need to see the value in committing to critical conversations and believe they can handle difficult classroom climates.

Organization: Faculty members expressed a need for supportive resources, evaluation of diversity-related, synchronous content and delivery, clear and consistent messages from leadership, an opportunity to discuss and share tools and resources, and training.

The findings confirm and further explicate the nascent existing literature on teaching diversity in an online classroom.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Maddox, Anthony
Commitee: Bikson, Karra, Parker-Dominguez, Tyan
School: University of Southern California
Department: Education (Leadership)
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 79/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Social work, Adult education, Teacher education, Higher education
Keywords: Diversity, Educational equity, Inclusive classrooms, Intersectionality, Self identity, Virtual education
Publication Number: 10686217
ISBN: 978-0-355-57488-3
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