Social Work Practice on a Community Level - Preparing Social Work Students to Become Active Agents in the Building of Sustainable Societies
Paper in proceedings, 2016
The entrenchment of the welfare state and increasing inequalities,
are challenges social workers in Sweden (and elsewhere) have to
respond to. Within the BA social work programme at the University
of Gothenburg, Sweden, one course specifically aims to equip
students with knowledge and skills to meet the demands of local
and global communities and to become active agents in the shaping
of a sustainable society. The course is offered third year students;
each semester approximately 120 students take the 3-week full
time course. The course builds on three parts: 1) Acquisition and
practical application of relevant theoretical positions through a series
of lectures with experts in the field of social work, human rights,
media & communication, community work and urban development. 2)
Building an insight into the processes of social work at a community
level and promoting participation in wider public debates through study
visits (such as community based youth work field visits, participation
in directly broadcasted TV-debates, work-shops in urban planning).
3) Developing skills (such as critical thinking, community advocacy
& ecological awareness) to become active agents in the shaping of
a sustainable society through student led workshops and seminars.
The content of the course responds to a world in constant flux by
integrating up to date issues and challenges relevant for social work.
While an underlying structure frames the course, these current issues
and challenges determine the content of the lectures and focus in
workshops and seminars. Collective learning processes are central
elements to the course. The course is an unique example of how social
work education can meet the challenges of integrating theory and
practice, correspond to needs of communities and equip social workers
with theoretical and practical skills to become active agents in the work
towards a more sustainable and equal society.
Integration Theory and Practice
Social Work Education