Indigenizing social work education: pedagogical implications for Bachelor of Social Work programs in Atlantic Canada

Andersen, Fred (2022) Indigenizing social work education: pedagogical implications for Bachelor of Social Work programs in Atlantic Canada. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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This study inquires into the perceived status of Indigenization within the Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) curriculum within schools of social work in three of the four Atlantic Canadian universities (the fourth school offers instruction in French and I did not have the resources to accommodate translation and interpretation). There is a lack of literature that examines the status of Indigenization within universities in Atlantic Canada. The primary aim of this research study was to examine how Indigenous BSW students and their mostly non-Indigenous instructors rate the degree of Indigenization within the BSW curricula in schools of social work in Atlantic Canadian universities. To achieve this, interviews were held with twelve Indigenous BSW students and eight of their instructors who teach in the BSW program. An Indigenous methodology, combined with thematic analysis, was used to gather and interpret the data. This project was the first to investigate the degree to which BSW curriculum are Indigenized or not in Atlantic Canadian schools of social work. Four themes emerged from analysis of the data, namely: (a) unreasonable expectations consistently placed upon Indigenous students to be content experts on Indigeneity; (b) social work curricula is taught through a White lens; (c) student and faculty support for Indigenization; and (d) Indigenous spirituality. The key finding was that the curriculum is nowhere near where it needs to be in terms of Indigenization. My work demonstrates that more research needs to be done to determine how the curriculum is to be Indigenized. While this work is geographically focused on the Atlantic provinces of Canada, this work has implications for Indigenous education globally.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
Item ID: 15633
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 172-183)
Keywords: indigenous, social work
Department(s): Social Work, School of
Date: May 2022
Date Type: Completion
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Indians, North American; Spirituality; Social Work; Universities; Atlantic Provinces

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