Training Attended

Society for Social Work and Research Annual Conference 2020

Training Date

Winter 1-19-2020

Training Location

Washington, DC

Document Type


Publication Date



Social justice continues to be emphasized within the social work profession as a central principle and value, often identified as the professional value that separates it from other human service professions. As varied as definitions of social justice are, so are approaches to effectively teaching about social justice within social work education across the curriculum (practice, research, HBSE, and policy). Equally absent are evidence based approaches to teaching social justice.In recent years, historical injustice and our societal lack of knowledge regarding it has been examined. Numerous studies have confirmed that the K-12 education system is grossly negligent in providing students with an accurate and comprehensive examination of historical events, especially those involving significant social injustices. Thus, students often begin their college education inadequately prepared to understand and address the consequences of these injustices. Consequently, they also fail to learn the many benefits of knowing and understanding their personal, societal, global, and generational effects. More recent studies have addressed the benefits of teaching through the use of historical injustice. Among these benefits, which have been categorized as transformational, are improved personal autonomy and agency, increased civic mindedness, improved cognitive skills and critical thinking, and in depth evaluation of values and biases, which according to NASW and CSWE are of significance to social work practice and education. This roundtable will begin a discussion on integrating these different silos of information. It will address how to best demonstrate their overlap and how to build on the literature and studies that have already been done in various fields of investigation. The overall goal of the roundtable is to determine how to best move forward in rigorously investigating an empirically grounded approach to teaching social justice in social work that is directed by a social justice education framework, the utilization of historical injustice, and their applicability to current social and structural obstacles to equality and equity. The first presenter will disucss the social justice education framework and its application to social work education. Two of the presenters will focus on discussing their experiences with the use of historical social injustice in teaching across the social work curriculum, as well as their experiences with using the Social Justice Education Perspective \ to guide and evaluate their work with students. A third presenter will address the importance of historical injustice knowledge across generations in helping individuals understand structural obstacles to racial equity and other forms of injustice. All three presenters will address the potential applications of this line of inquiry for emerging areas of scholarship and practice, especially as related to improving social justice education in social work, implications of such work for social work practice, theoretical guiding frameworks for such work and potential funding sources for such work.

Included in

Social Work Commons



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