About this paper

Appears in:
Page: 2872 (abstract only)
Publication year: 2013
ISBN: 978-84-616-3822-2
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 5th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 1-3 July, 2013
Location: Barcelona, Spain

SOCIAL WORK LEARNING- FROM THE CLASSROOM TO THE FIELD

Y. Marti

Columbia University School of Social Work (UNITED STATES)
Social Work education in the United States and many other countries is based on the premise that students should be taught theory and skills and should also practice them.Most social work programs have an established coursework and also a field component in which students work with agencies, schools and practice in their area of interest.This model of learning allows students to experience their work and compare and contrast the reality of the field with what they learn in the classroom.It also aids in the deciding their focus population and concentration. However, innovation in education also includes new learning experiences in higher education.As most disciplines,social work has expanded to a global perspective via research projects abroad.At Columbia University School of Social Work (CUSSW) there are projects in Uganda,Jordan,and other countries.These projects not only aim at understanding social problems in those regions,but also to learn from local practices that have been successful or apply evidenced based practices to different cultural,political and social settings.Nevertheless, international work is mostly done at the faculty level and results and implementation are used as teaching resources in the classroom.Rarely there are opportunities to incorporate these international experiences with actual field work abroad.There is a need for the globalization of university programs,especially when the student body is more diverse than ever.Therefore,a course was designed and proposed to the curriculum committee of CUSSW on Cuba and Social Work. The course was a one semester course with a trip component to Cuba, it was titled: Cuba and Social Work: Revolution and Evolution. Why Cuba? Cuba has a population of 11.2 million people with a high percentage of literacy, a rapidly aging population, housing problems, free education and health care, economic fragility and a one party communist regime that is under a United States embargo since 1960.This is a unique and unparalleled situation that impacts all aspects of life including social services and individual and family lives.This course provided a framework on Cuba through an overview of how politics, culture and history have influenced the development of social work.The class and trip included discussion of clinical, administrative and policy oriented programs and incorporated topics that pertain to children, families, public health and mental health. These components of the course showed the evolution of social work in Cuba. The class was an innovative course at the CUSSW.The students had lectures from the Cuban Ambassador to the United Nations, from Cubans who have migrated and scholars/ experts in diverse topics about Cuba. During the field trip the students visited schools, hospitals, community centers, interacted with Cubans, visited a self-sustainable community, met with the President of the Association of Cuban Health Social Workers, visited the center for national sexual education, and visited religious centers,among many other activities.For a semester these students were immersed in a personal and group process of globalization of their perspective of social work, while comparing and contrasting through an in-depth analysis their system to one completely different. The relationships and experiences acquired through the class and the field trip to Cuba are the best evidence of the value of innovative ways of learning and of international education and cooperation.
@InProceedings{MARTI2013SOC,
author = {Marti, Y.},
title = {SOCIAL WORK LEARNING- FROM THE CLASSROOM TO THE FIELD},
series = {5th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN13 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-616-3822-2},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {1-3 July, 2013},
year = {2013},
pages = {2872}}
TY - CONF
AU - Y. Marti
TI - SOCIAL WORK LEARNING- FROM THE CLASSROOM TO THE FIELD
SN - 978-84-616-3822-2/2340-1117
PY - 2013
Y1 - 1-3 July, 2013
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 5th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN13 Proceedings
SP - 2872
EP - 2872
ER -
Y. Marti (2013) SOCIAL WORK LEARNING- FROM THE CLASSROOM TO THE FIELD, EDULEARN13 Proceedings, p. 2872.
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