Enhancing Strengths Based Social Work Pedagogy: From Cultural Competence to Critical Race Theory

By Wendy Ashley and Jose Paez.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Educational Studies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: July 30, 2015 $US5.00

This article analyzes the methods used to promote critical thinking and social justice-informed practice in graduate social work programs. Current models that dominate social work education engender challenges for students grappling with complexities of social justice, intersectionality, power, and privilege. Drawing from data obtained through mini focus groups held with MSW students at a public university, the authors endorse the implementation of a Critical Race Theory (CRT) model to provide a framework for concurrent diversity education and critical analysis of dominant ideology. The authors posit that utilizing a CRT model renovates social work pedagogy to a more strengths-based approach that provides a framework for both conceptual understanding and practical application of intersectionality concepts.

Keywords: Social Work Education, Critical Race Theory, Strengths-based Approach, Cultural Competence

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Educational Studies, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp.15-25. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: July 30, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 441.110KB)).

Dr. Wendy Ashley

Assistant Professor, Social Work Department, California State University Northridge, Northridge, California, USA

Jose Paez

Lecturer, Social Work Department, California State University Northridge, Northridge, California, USA