What do we know the experiences and outcomes of anti-racist social work education? An empirical case study evidencing contested engagement and transformative learning

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17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In social work education there have been very few attempts to empirically capture and measure how professional training programmes prepare students to work with ‘race’ equality and cultural diversity issues. This paper interrogates the experiences and outcomes of anti-racist social work education and evaluates the pedagogic relevance and practice utility of teaching social work students about ‘race’, racism and anti-racism. The data presented in this paper suggests that it is possible to discover the situated experiences of learning about anti-racism and measure how this teaching can affect and lead to knowledge, skills and attitudinal change. The triangulated mixed methods evidence presented in this paper combines nomothetic and idiographic approaches with quantitative data for a matched pair sample of 36 social work students and uses non-parametric statistical tests to measure at two time intervals (before and after teaching); knowledge, skills and attitudinal change. The paper explores how anti-racist social work education enables students to move from ‘magical consciousness’, where racism and racial oppression is invisible and thereby left unchallenged and maintained, to more critical and reflexive level of awareness where it is named, challenged and no longer shrouded in a culture of professional denial and silencing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)631-653
Number of pages23
JournalSocial Work Education
Volume38
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 4 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Anti-racism
  • anti-racist social work
  • critical pedagogy
  • emancipatory education
  • measuring educational outcomes
  • mixed methods research
  • positionality
  • race equality
  • researcher identity
  • transformative learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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