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ERIC Number: EJ902093
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Oct
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1532-8759
Educating Today's School Social Workers: Are School Social Work Courses Responding to the Changing Context?
Berzin, Stephanie Cosner; O'Connor, Sarah
Children & Schools, v32 n4 p237-249 Oct 2010
School social work takes place within the dynamic context of the educational landscape, yet research indicates that school social work practice has been slow to adjust to the demands of that landscape. Little research has assessed whether school social workers are being adequately prepared to address the educational shifts that underlie today's practice. To examine this preparation, the authors examined syllabuses from school social work courses for content and attention to these shifts. The most common topics covered were special education, confidentiality and ethics, the history and role of school social workers, and collaboration. Although calls from research, theoretical literature, and policy changes suggest that evidence-based practice, response to intervention, positive behavior supports, No Child Left Behind, shifts in mental health prevalence, bullying, and school choice are related to large-scale shifts in the educational landscape that affect school social work, syllabuses showed inconsistent incorporation of these contents. Subject matter related to multilevel practice was also limited, with a strong focus on content aimed at clinical practice. Syllabuses included less content teaching school social workers how to make systemic or environmental changes. Implications regarding preparation of school social workers to meet changes in education and calls from scholars to support multitiered approaches to helping students are discussed.
National Association of Social Workers (NASW). 750 First Street NE Suite 700, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-227-3590; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001