When you obtain your PhD in social work or your DSW, you may decide to teach. There are many avenues to pursue teaching. There is the traditional route—obtaining a faculty position in higher education, for example, or a faculty position in an accredited social work program. There are other less traditional routes, such as supervising social work students who are in field placement at your agency or developing instructional curricula for universities/colleges or in other settings. Regardless of the setting in which you teach, a theory often informs your teaching style.
Theories conceptualizing cultural competence play just such a role in shaping teaching strategies. The Council on Social Work Education requires social work programs to address diversity in their content, which underscores the importance of cultural competence in the field. More than likely, all agree on the assumption that social workers need to be culturally competent in their practice. However, there is no one way to go about teaching cultural competency to social work students.
In this Discussion, you have an opportunity to examine different theories and approaches in the definition and conceptualization of cultural competence in social work. After reviewing many approaches, Kohli, Huber, and Faul (2010) started to delineate recommendations for social work education. They advocated that “social work students need to be educated to become self-aware and have an appreciation of their own value systems,” and “they need to be immersed in cultural experiences where they observe the uniqueness of every individual” (p. 268). These two recommendations are abstract. As a future social work educator, you will need to generate specific ideas for teaching cultural competency at either the undergraduate or graduate level. Additionally, you will reinforce your practice of annotating sources as you research—a habit that will benefit you as you work to think more critically in your reviews and catalog resources to reference for your dissertation or DSW capstone project.
Post a response to the following:
Respond to two colleagues who chose approaches different from the one you selected:
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