Journal Article

Anti-Discriminatory Practice: Pedagogical Struggles and Challenges


in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 29, issue 2, pages 231-250
Published in print April 1999 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online April 1999 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI:
Anti-Discriminatory Practice: Pedagogical Struggles and Challenges

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Transnational alliances and changing global realities have resulted in a proliferation of material relating to diversity and social work practice. More recently the focus has rested on anti-oppression and multicultural social work. Although there is growing acceptance of the need to be sensitive to diverse populations, the struggle often lies in pedagogical and practice considerations. Courses dealing with oppression have emerged and the emphasis has been to encourage student and teacher to examine their own biases and understand their ethnicity and culture while seeking to develop a framework for sensitive practice. Issues relating to power and subjugation are highlighted along with an understanding of history and present realities. Pedagogical and practice struggles need to be addressed on a consistent basis to ensure that the slippage towards a more didactic approach is not adopted in order to avoid dealing with sensitive material and issues.

This article represents a synthesis of my experiences of developing a half credit course on anti-discriminatory practice and teaching it over a period of five terms. The guidelines and approaches used for teaching this course include journals, reflective papers, coalition groups and small group discussions. These approaches are discussed, together with an examination of the location and struggles of staff and students, and ongoing challenges to effect social knowledge production that is premised on an anti-discriminatory and anti-oppressive framework for practice. Excerpts from student journals, my observations, and feedback from student evaluations are utilised to promote a critical reflection of pedagogical and practice concerns necessary for sustaining an anti-oppression framework for social work practice.

The ways in which groups, individuals, and ideas come to be marginalized in a given culture, society, and/or place has much to do with what is considered to be knowledge and who is considered to possess it, who is perceived as knower and who is known (Edgerton, 1993, p. 222).

Curricula are revised but rarely transformed from the inside out (McGee, 1993, p. 281).

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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