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ERIC Number: EJ1086944
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 16
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0748-8475
Cultural Competence for College Students: How to Teach about Race, Gender and Inequalities
Phan, Phu; Vugia, Holly; Jones, Terry
Thought & Action, p71-86 Win 2015
For the most part, students entering social work programs want to serve poor and oppressed populations. They see themselves as well-meaning and politically liberal, and view racism, sexism, and heterosexism as intolerable. They are highly offended by assertions that they may suffer from these "isms." However, to ready social work students to effectively serve diverse and oppressed communities, educators must coach students beyond their individualized world-view and help them gain self-reflexivity in the context of social realities. Despite their commitment to its importance, many social work educators still search for effective strategies to teach about race and oppression. This article describes the social work program at a medium-size public, urban California institution that has engaged these well-intentioned students to enhance their understanding of race and oppression in a required first-quarter course called "Race, Gender, and Inequality". The objective of this course is to achieve student commitment to multicultural competence and to assist historically disadvantaged, disenfranchised, and underserved populations. Although delivered in the social work program, the authors believe this approach, which requires students to explore their own values, beliefs, and behaviors, and makes them aware of their own biases, has merit for other fields that tackle the topic of race, gender, and inequality. This paper presents concrete recommendations, including explorations of student responses, suggestions for equitable presentation of material, and strategies for transformative learning.
National Education Association. 1201 16th Street NW Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-833-4000; Fax: 202-822-7974; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A