Greening social work education: transforming the curriculum in pursuit of eco-social justice

Jones, Peter (2018) Greening social work education: transforming the curriculum in pursuit of eco-social justice. In: Dominelli, Lena, (ed.) The Routledge Handbook of Green Social Work. Routledge, Abingdon, UK, pp. 558-568.

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Abstract

Despite stubborn resistance from some quarters, the public is beginning to recognize that anthropogenic climate changes pose enormous challenges for humanity and the planet. While climate change is certainly not the only environmental issue facing the earth today, it has emerged as the most urgent and pressing of issues, both overarching and clearly linked with a long list of environmental concerns including deforestation, biodiversity loss, food and water security, pollution and waste. There is now clear evidence of the ways in which anthropogenic climate change is already impacting upon both natural systems and human well-being (IPCC, 2014; CSIRO, 2015; Wahlquist, 2017). It is becoming increasingly obvious that these negative impacts are not being distributed equally, but fall disproportionately on those already in situations of disadvantage (Dominelli, 2012; Wade, 2015; Worland, 2016).

As social work begins the process of expanding its professional worldview to encompass more fully a concern with the natural environment, and recognition that human well-being is fundamentally and inextricably linked with environmental well-being, the role of social work education is brought into focus. It has been argued that the shift required by the profession if it is to truly embrace a green or eco-social paradigm will be dramatic and transformative (Besthorn, 2011; Dominelli, 2012; Peeters, 2012). While such change will require shifts in all aspects of the profession, a fundamental rethinking of the nature and purpose of social work education will be crucial to this transformation.

This chapter discusses the increasingly visible movement to expand social work's connection to the environment and the calls for greater professional engagement in this area. Recent literature exploring this issue within social work education is presented and the role that social work education might play in promoting engagement with environmental issues and in facilitating a wider professional transformation is then discussed before exploring some of the pedagogical approaches and curriculum challenges that should be considered as part of this process. Ideas are then presented outlining what a truly transformed eco-social curriculum might look like.

Item ID: 54693
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-1-138-74079-2
Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2018 01:42
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1607 Social Work > 160799 Social Work not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939999 Education and Training not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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