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References and Resources for Social Justice Pedagogy


In addition to NASW social justice priorities and resources (NASW, 2018), CSWE Learning Academy resources for teaching social justice (CSWE, 2016), and IFSW (IFSW, 2016) and IASSW (IASSW, 2018) resources, the following ten sources provide helpful social justice curricular concepts and materials for social work educators’ consideration:  


  • Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice (Adams et al., 2016) provides a complement for educators to Readings for Diversity and Social Justice. It presents social justice definitions, theoretical foundations, core concepts, and principles of practice focused on topical application, i.e. racism, sexism, classism, and ableism.

  • Advancing Human Rights in Social Work Education: (Libal et al., 2014) discusses curriculum development with a focus on human rights and its intersectionality with educating toward social justice. There is a section on policy, research and social justice, and education strategies, and a chapter on Fordham University’s effort to revise their social work curriculum to focus on human rights and justice.


Research has shown that despite the complications and concerns inherent in defining and delivering social justice classes, they do make a difference. As Krings, et al. (2015) found, “participation in social justice education courses is associated with increases in both student confidence in and commitment toward political participation, civic engagement, and multicultural activism” (p. 414).  Arguably, a lack of political participation, civic engagement, and multicultural activism has contributed to the fierce urgency of our current divisive, discriminatory, and oppressive economic, political, cultural, and social climate.  

In the fierce urgency of now, the transformative possibilities and potential that a renewed commitment to social justice pedagogy holds open to our students, to social work, to all of us, is ultimately hopeful. I hope and trust that the Circle of Insight process, and considerations and resources presented here can provide a framework and tools to engage in a courageous and critically important process of curricular transformation, a process that will enable us to more effectively address the injustices of the current historical moment.

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