About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 6945-6951
Publication year: 2010
ISBN: 978-84-614-2439-9
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 15-17 November, 2010
Location: Madrid, Spain

TEACHING SOCIAL WORK EDUCATION IN THE ARAB GULF: CHALLENGES AND SOLUTIONS

R. Villa, W. Van Delft

United Arab Emirates University (UNITED ARAB EMIRATES)
The profession of social work continues to spread across to the globe. As is spreads issues of cultural competency and teaching students with diverse language, religious and spiritual background become even more salient. As educators our mission is to provide students with the opportunities to master the necessary competencies for professional social work practice. Further complicating the teaching process is the International Association of Schools of Social Work Global Standards (2004).

Social work education has come of age in the Arab Gulf. As social work education is defined and developed, the need is for a teaching strategy that acknowledges 1) Arab/Muslim culture and 2) Teaching the English as a second language learner and 3) meeting international social work education standards. As a professional program social work must assure that graduates of the Bachelor of Social Work Program have mastered the competencies outlined in the International Association of Schools of Social Work Global Standards.

The Arab Muslim community is unique in its worldviews and religious practices that guide all aspects of social life. Most Arab countries in the Gulf are based on traditional system that acknowledges Islam as the glue that holds together the society, the tribe, the clan, and the family in what is commonly called social solidarity or a cooperative.

The tribe and its system of kinship ties (clans & tribes) provide a sense of belonging and a collective safety net in times of trouble. The balance between the individual and the collective interests is weighted in favor of the collective. Issues of autonomy and individualism are viewed in relationship to the collective good in Arab society. Tribal mentality is centered on the concept of ‘asabiyya’ or solidarity that gives citizens a sense of belonging to a community (http://workmall.com/wfb2001).

This Bachelor of Social Work program is competency based curriculum. It incorporates a bilingual approach to teaching; with English as the language of instruction and Arabic/English format in field practicum settings. The following conceptual framework explains the teaching methodologies used to provide opportunities for students to comprehend and demonstrate mastery of complex course and field related materials. The goal is to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills necessary for professional social work practice.

Conceptual Framework: “Asabiyya” Concept of Teaching Loyalty and blood ties bind the immediate and extended family to the clan (ashira) consisting of individuals who share a common ancestor/family name and tribe (qabila). Tribal systems are based on the concept of solidarity (asabiyya) or a sense of community and belonging, a common purpose that is sometimes stronger than what is found in other societal structures. The word Asabiyya gives the perception of tying or binding together as in the clan and tribe. There are positive and negative aspects associated with asabiyya in that it can be used to demand obedience and allegiance to the clan.

There are three factors that define this model;
1) Cultural competency; 2) Experiential Learning; 3) Faculty as teachers and mentors. This presentation will explain the Asabiyya concept teaching using the three factors referenced above to provide a deeper understanding of issues related to teaching English as second language learners in the Arab Gulf..
@InProceedings{VILLA2010TEA,
author = {Villa, R. and Van Delft, W.},
title = {TEACHING SOCIAL WORK EDUCATION IN THE ARAB GULF: CHALLENGES AND SOLUTIONS},
series = {3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2010 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-614-2439-9},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {15-17 November, 2010},
year = {2010},
pages = {6945-6951}}
TY - CONF
AU - R. Villa AU - W. Van Delft
TI - TEACHING SOCIAL WORK EDUCATION IN THE ARAB GULF: CHALLENGES AND SOLUTIONS
SN - 978-84-614-2439-9/2340-1095
PY - 2010
Y1 - 15-17 November, 2010
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2010 Proceedings
SP - 6945
EP - 6951
ER -
R. Villa, W. Van Delft (2010) TEACHING SOCIAL WORK EDUCATION IN THE ARAB GULF: CHALLENGES AND SOLUTIONS, ICERI2010 Proceedings, pp. 6945-6951.
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