Decolonizing social work research education: reflections from India and Australia

Ponnuswami, Ilango, and Harris, Nonie (2020) Decolonizing social work research education: reflections from India and Australia. In: Ponnuswami, Ilango, and Francis, Abraham, (eds.) Social Work Education, Research and Practice: perspectives from India and Australia. Springer Nature, Singapore, pp. 73-81.

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As Indian and Australian academics, the authors have worked together to critically examine our social work research teaching and suggest scholarly responses to social work students' 'research reluctance'. Our reflections led us to support the calls of authors such as Baikady, and others, that social work research education should be 'rooted in the needs and culture of its own society' (Baikady et al., International Journal of Social Work and Human Services Practice 2:311–318, 2014, p. 317), and that 'the incorporation of Indigenous must not be token and piecemeal, it should be primary…' (Singh, S., Gumz, E., & Crawley, C., SocialWork Education 30(7):861–873, 2011, p. 872). Our chapter addresses the complexity of honouring Indigenous knowledge, decolonizing our research teaching while considering the place and value of Western research knowledge and theory. We argue there are no simple responses to these complex considerations and, further, that research educators need to adopt a sophisticated and nuanced approach, focusing on collaboration and critical reflection. In this context, the task of the social work research teacher is to create a learning environment where it is possible to hear diverse voices, and to also challenge and deconstruct, with students, the taken for granted assumptions about the 'truth' of 'Western' knowledge, without entire rejection — moving from instructing and telling to walking alongside and working with our students and their communities.

Item ID: 67742
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: ISBN 978-981-15-9796-1
Keywords: Social work; Research education; Decolonizing
Copyright Information: © The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020.
Date Deposited: 03 Jun 2021 03:49
FoR Codes: 44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4409 Social work > 440999 Social work not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 16 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 1603 Teaching and curriculum > 160302 Pedagogy @ 100%
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