Dear Colleagues, This volume of Social Dialogue covers important issues facing social work education in many countries of the world. Academics are struggling with the problem to develop curricula that can respond to the challenges of the globalization, which are affecting all the planet, and at the same time, can prepare social workers able to work at the local level with theories, methods and interventions coherent with the history, the culture and the needs of their own specific context.
In this last semester I’ve traveled a lot, meeting different scholars, students and professionals in countries like Iran, Lebanon, Indonesia, South Africa, Europe, India, USA, Brazil and China.
It has been an important experience and I’ve had the possibility to listen to the challenges, the concerns facing social work education but also the interesting experiences and developments that are both realized and in preparation as social work education is undertaken in these and many counties across the world.
In many of these initiatives the topic of Internationalisation vs Indigenisation of social work curricula has been at the core of our reflections. Space does not permit a more detailed report here to do justice to the many interesting encounters and debates, I have encountered as I travel to countries listening and speaking about the concerns social work education is facing. More detailed information will be recollected in the reports that will be circulate at the end of the year between our members. However, we get a snapshot of some of issues and developments that program are grappling with in the special edition of social work education across the globe.
Let me choose two of the many initiatives.
- I’ve was selected for the Hokenstad lecture at CSWE conference in Denver (24/27 October 2019) where I’ve presented my speech on International Organization: Building Capacity and Representing Social Work Education Globally.
It was a great honor and a huge responsibility but I hope, through my talk, I informed the audience about the history of IASSW and the important role that this organisation has played in promoting social work education since its establishment in 1928 and the challenges that we have to deal with in our future.
- This month (9,10,11 of November) I attended a joint meeting with the Regional Resource Centre-International Association of School of Social Work, PKU-HKPolyU China Social Work Research Centre; the China Women’s University and the China Association of Social Work Education a conference and two days’ workshop on Capacity Building on Social Work Education –Curriculum Development.
The objectives were:
- To build an international education communication platform to broaden the international horizons of social work educators in China, and to provide Chinese social work educators with a solid understanding of curriculum development in social work education;
- To foster communication between Chinese social work educators and the international social work community on issues relating to social work research and practice, and
- To promote communications and reflections on the indigenization of social work education in China.
It has been an amazing experience that I shared with two IASSW past presidents: Professor Angie Yuen and Professor Lena Dominelli. We also enjoyed and benefited from of the contribution of many international and Chinese social work education leaders. The hospitality offered by the Women University has been wonderful; the organization effective, with the involvement of the teaching staff and the very helpful and committed student group.
Together with the participants we discussed the curriculum design of social work education, focusing on different aspects like competences, contents, practice, research. We concluded with the commitment of continuing this experience in the next future.