Curriculum plan Social Work in Europe 2009_10

    

                                           
CURRICULUM PLAN SOCIAL WORK IN EUROPE­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­
15 ECTS
2009/10
CURRICULUM PLAN SOCIAL WORK IN EUROPE­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­________
I. GENERAL INFORMATION.. 4
Introduction. 4
Objectives. 5
General expected Learning Outcomes. 5
Study methods. 5
Internet access. 6
Target group. 6
Assessment 6
Credits and Certificate. 7
Starts/ends: 7
II. MODULES AND STRUCTURE.. 8
Modules. 8
Structure. 9
III.  MODULE 1: SOCIAL WORK IN EUROPE. COMMONALITIES AND DIFFERENCES   9
Introduction. 9
Expected Learning Outcomes. 9
Competence Indicators. 10
IV. MODULE 2: COMPARATIVE SOCIAL WORK: A EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE ON CORE ASPECTS OF SOCIAL WORK.. 11
Theme 2A: Discrimination Oppression and Ethnic Diversity as Phenomena in Europe. Anti oppressive approaches to social work   11
Introduction: 11
Expected Learning Outcomes. 12
Competence Indicators. 13
Theme 2B: Poverty and welfare systems. Anti oppressive approaches to social work. 14
Introduction. 14
Expected Learning Outcomes. 15
Competences. 15
Competence Indicators. 16
Theme 2C: Social work practice in a European Context 17
Introduction. 17
Expected Learning Outcomes. 18
Competence Indicators. 19
V. READING LISTS.. 20

I. GENERAL INFORMATION

This curriculum plan is a result of international co operation and partnership in the EUSW-TN (European Social Work Thematic Network) and the VIRCLASS project (The Virtual Classroom for Social Work in Europe).
The Educational programme are developed and run by the VIRCLASS Consortium Partners under leadership of Bergen University College.
The Consortium Partners from 2008 are:
Bergen University College, Norway; Complutense University, Madrid Spain; School of Health Science, University of Jønkøping,, Sweden; Miguel Torga University College Coimbra, Portugal; Inholland University, School of Social Work Haarlem, the Netherlands; University of  University of Applied Sciences Mannheim, Germany;University of Lusofona;KHKempen University College.
Associated partner: University of Wales, Swansea, UK;

Introduction

Rapid changes in European society, increasing mobility and local differences in social and economic factors influence the living conditions and thereby the social problems in various parts of Europe. This has serious implications for the field of social work and for the framework and the role of social workers, and makes the need for intercultural exchange more and more important if we are to be able to understand and combat social exclusion, racism and xenophobia. With an open learning environment, social workers living and working in very different situations will have the opportunity to learn from each other and to share information and knowledge important for their work with their clients. We believe that the development of new methods for working together and for building our professional networks is important to meet the challenges of the future.
These professional challenges need to be met by different methods and educational programs for social workers. Because of differences in student’s economic situations, family and work situations and their availability for periods of study abroad, this program offers to students from all over Europe opportunities to study together in a Virtual Classroom on the internet.
We believe that a European perspective on Social Work is important for professional social workers directly involved with clients from different parts of Europe and for bachelor and postgraduate students who will need an international perspective on social work for their future career.

Objectives

The Study Programme SOCIAL WORK IN EUROPE consists of two modules that will focus on commonalities and differences on core subjects and fields of social work. The overall aim is to increase the consciousness of factors which contextualise and influence social work, such as social situations and living conditions, social organisation, welfare systems, economical and political systems, and the knowledge about theories and methods which social work utilises. By mixed activities in a Virtual Classroom the study programme intends to increase communication, co operation and understanding among students and professionals in social work from different countries in Europe.

General expected Learning Outcomes

Competences
Professional Development

  • Students will be able to describe, analyse and compare social work practice in various European countries
  • Students will have the opportunity to expand knowledge, reflect upon skills and ethical dilemmas, and share attitudes about social work practice across Europe 

Cooperation

  • Students will be able to work together with students and teachers from other countries in a virtual classroom
  • Students will give and share information about their own country in a problem solving process

Methods

  • Students will be able to describe, analyse and compare different methods to address social problems
  • Students will be able to  collect and present data in an international context
  • Students will be able to use methods for comparative international studies

Study methods

Through the whole study program students will work with a problem oriented focus, and by solving tasks they will reflect on situations concerning social work and being a social worker in their own country compared with the situation in other European countries.
The course will start with an introduction to the e-learning platform, class and the virtual classroom to acquaint students with the international group of students and teachers they are going to work together with. Every second or third week students will receive new learning material and new tasks to work on both individually and in the group. The tasks given will be related to the objectives of the course. Students who deliver their tasks on time during the program will receive a response and guidance from the teacher.  Participating as a student requires students to provide feedback to each other, both in terms of their own individual perspective, and how issues might be seen from their country’s perspective. Students who join the courses have to enter the classroom at least once a week. Compulsory online conferences among students and teachers will be set up two - three times during the study period.
All elements in the course will be organized and administrated through a common virtual learning management system. The use of an e-learning platform will allow students the opportunity to discuss directly with students and practitioners in other countries the issues in the courses. Video,  pictures and texts will be presented as triggers for discussions among students and teachers, and as introductions to tasks. To be able to adress the tasks and to co operate with others; students have to follow the progress in the course.

Internet access

The students need a consistent access to Internet to attend this course. The speed of the Internet connection has influence on the access to the study material.  Some of the course material is produced as media files and broadband is recommended. If the students connect to the Internet over a dial-up connection, the download rate for accessing documents and media files will be significantly slower than a broadband connection.

Target group

The target group for the Programme is social work students undertaking bachelor’s programmes in their second, third or fourth year. The Programme is open to students at postgraduate levels and professionals who are interested in getting a European/international perspective on social work issues and subjects. The academic level of the Programme is undergraduate.

Assessment

Every module will end with a written assignment.
In module 1 the assignment will be a typewritten paper of 2500 words on a chosen subject taken from the content of this module and with a comparative perspective on their own country and two other countries from different parts of Europe, plus a reflection note of 1000 words with reflection on learning experience.
In module 2 there will be a portfolio assessment[1].This means that the course will be task centred and as part of the learning process students will receive feedback on their tasks during the course. Students will have an opportunity to improve their first presentations as a consequense of feedback and progress in learning.
·        All tasks have to be completed before the final assessment.
Completed tasks will be collected in a portfolio, and a number of these tasks will be required for the presentation portfolio. The maximum number of  words in the presentation portfolio is 5000, plus a reflection note of 1000 words with reflection on learning experience.        Information about which tasks student will be required to deliver for final assessment/presentation portfolio will be given to students approximately three weeks before the final assessment.
The final marks for each module will be given from A-F (F is not approved).

Credits and Certificate

The whole Programme leads to 15 ECTS credits[2]. Module 1 is worth 5 ECTS. In Module 2 each of the 3 themes/courses are worth 10 ECTS.

Bergen University College together with the Universities the students come from issues a joint Certificate and credits to students for the specific VIRCLASS courses. 

Starts/ends:

Module 1 e-learning is part time study over 9 weeks and starts 12 October 2009 (with a pre start week for introduction to the e-learning platform the 5 October) and ends 14 December 2009.
Module 2  e-learning is part time study over 16 weeks and starts 18 January 2010 and ends 10 May 2010.

II. MODULES AND STRUCTURE

Modules

The Programme consists of two Modules.

Module 1: “Social Work in Europe. Commonalities and Differences”

This module is required for taking module 2 but it can also be taken as a separate module without proceeding to module 2.


Module 2: “Comparative Social Work. A European perspective on core aspects of Social  Work”.
Students are given 3 themes and subjects from which to choose one.

•         Theme 2A: Discrimination, Oppression and Ethnic Diversity as phenomenon in                   Europe. Anti oppressive approaches to social work

•         Theme 2B: Poverty and Welfare Systems in Europe. Anti oppressive approaches to social work

•         Theme 2C: Social Work Practice in a European Context


Figure 1: The two e-learning  Modules

The three themes in module two are all worth 10 ECTS

Structure

Module 1 start with an introduction to the Virtual Classroom and what it means to be an e-learning student. Then the following two weeks will be an introduction to comparative methodology and from week four the course will focus on the remainder of the content in the course. The tasks during the course will be structured in a way that leads forward to the final assessment.
Module 2 will start with an introductory program for students to get to know better the other students they will be working with. The programme will be case oriented. Students will be invited to reflect on their own personal aims and objectives in relation to the theme they are studying.

For more information; see the paragraphs on Study methods and Assessment in part I

III.  MODULE 1: SOCIAL WORK IN EUROPE. COMMONALITIES AND DIFFERENCES

Introduction

Module 1 will focus on basic knowledge about social problems, social work in history and today, and social work education in a European perspective. The module starts with how to do comparative studies in international social work. Students will be asked to describe, analyse and compare living conditions and the social problems in different European countries, and how they are met in social work. Students will have to explore commonalities and differences in welfare systems and social policies, and how these may affect social work and social work education.

Expected Learning Outcomes

Competences
Professional development

·         Students will be able to describe, analyse and compare social problems, social work and social work education in European countries

·         Students will be able to expand knowledge and reflect upon commonalities and differences in historical development of social work and social work today

·         Students will be able to compare commonalities and differences in chosen social issues, and the legal and social policy framework for social work and social work education

Cooperation

·         Students will be able to work together with students and teachers from other countries in a virtual classroom

·         Students will give and share information about their own country in a problem solving process

Methods

·         Students will be able to collect and present data in an international context

·         Students will be able to use methods for comparative international studies

Competence Indicators

Knowledge
At the end of this course, students can expect to have knowledge of:
·        Basic methodology in comparative studies
·        How social workers are dealing with social problems in relation to different welfare systems
·        Historical background and traditions in social work education and social work practice
·        The main social problems in different countries today.
·        Knowledge about the main commonalities and differences in social work education in Europe
·        Knowledge of the main roles of  social workers in different countries

Skills
At the end of this course, the students can expect to have developed skills in:

·         Making comparisons by collecting and analysing data from three different countries

·         Developing researchable questions for doing comparative studies

·         Presenting the situation in their country concerning the issues they are studying

·         Reflecting on their own learning process during the courses and explain how that learning has influenced their own professional development

·        Collaborating with an international group of students and teachers to investigate the differences and commonalities of social work within different European countries
·        Developing and showing competences in an Open Distance Learning environment

·         Writing a paper according to academic evidence-based writing standards; using the Harvard Guide of References

Attitudes
At the end of this course, students will have had opportunities to explore and share their attitudes, and will have: 
·        A greater openness towards the applications of on-line communications technology
·        An awareness of different ways of providing social services
·        A willingness to understand and reflect on commonalities and differences in different European countries
·        A greater openness towards differences, meeting them in a respectful way

IV. MODULE 2: COMPARATIVE SOCIAL WORK: A EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE ON CORE ASPECTS OF SOCIAL WORK

Theme 2A: Discrimination Oppression and Ethnic Diversity as Phenomena in Europe. Anti oppressive approaches to social work
Introduction:

This module will allow the student to understand commonalities and differences in terms of the how societies marginalise certain groups of people. In what way are social work theories and methods suitable to deal with questions concerning discrimination and oppression? In some places anti-discriminatory practice has come to be seen as integral to good social practice; in other words, one cannot have good social work practice without it.  But how far is this reflected in the reality of everyday practice, and to what extent are students given the knowledge and skills they need to practice it? The module will demonstrate that discrimination and oppression are not homogenous concepts but focus on different target groups in various ways, and therefore are different in their manifestations in relation to these groups.  A range of disadvantaged groups will be considered, but particular emphasis will be put on cultural and ethnic diversity, and racism. 

The implications of discrimination and oppression of marginalised groups for European social welfare and social work will be considered.

Expected Learning Outcomes

Competences
Professional Development

·         Students will be able to describe, analyse and compare social problems and social work practice in relation to discrimination and oppression in various European countries.

·         Students will have the opportunity to expand knowledge of discrimination and oppression and reflect upon skills and share attitudes in relation to anti-discriminatory and anti-oppressive practice across Europe.

Cooperation

·         Students will be able to work together with students and teachers from other countries in a virtual classroom

·         Students will give and share information about discrimination, oppression and ethnic diversity in their own country

Methods

·         Students will have an opportunity to share their understanding of anti-oppressive and anti-discriminatory practice as a social work method

·         Students will be able to collect, describe, analyse and present data in an international context

·         Students will be able to critically analyse approaches to comparative international studies

·         Students will be provided with a case study which will enable them to describe, analyse and compare discrimination, oppression and anti-discriminatory practice from various countries’ perspectives.

  

Competence Indicators

Knowledge
At the end of this course, students can expect to have knowledge of:

·        Commonalities and differences in social work as a subject and a profession in Europe

·         Who is excluded, why and how such groups come to be marginalised

·         Cultural and ethnic diversity at a European and national level

·         Similarities and differences of the demographic profiles of ethnic minorities and cultural beliefs in different countries

·         Different forms of discrimination, i.e. sexism, ageism, disablism, etc.

·         Legislation in European countries for addressing discrimination and oppression and how this relates to Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights

·         Anti-oppressive approaches in social work (theories and methods of dealing with discrimination and oppression), including theories and methods of social work with ethnic groups, immigrants and refugees, focusing on national and European perspectives and experiences

·         The link between a theoretical understanding of oppression and anti-oppressive practice

Skills
At the end of this course, students can expect to have developed skills in:

·         Comparing groups of people in three different European countries who may experience social exclusion, with particular emphasis on culturally and ethnically diverse groups

·         Presenting the situation in their country concerning how they are taught about discrimination and oppression

·         Reflecting upon their own skills and share attitudes in relation to anti-discrimatory and anti-oppressive practices  across Europe

·         Reflecting on their own learning process during the course, understanding how the learning has influenced their own professional development

·         Analysing European perspectives on anti-discriminatory and anti-oppressive practice

·         Assembling a portfolio demonstrating knowledge, skills and attitudes in relation to discrimination and anti-oppressive practice

·         Writing a paper according to academic evidence based writing standards; using the Harvard Guide of References

Attitudes
At the end of this course, students will have had the opportunities to explore and share their attitudes, and will have: 

·         Greater tolerance of diversity in society

·         More openness towards power, disempowerment and empowerment in relation to social work practice and social work education in Europe

·         Greater awareness of their power as a social worker, and how they as social worker can be oppressive when working with clients

·         Greater awareness of how Service  organisations can be oppressive as a part of a society

·         An increased willingness to challenge oppression in themselves, others and their agencies.

Theme 2B: Poverty and welfare systems. Anti oppressive approaches to social work.

Introduction

Poverty is one of the core problems for social work throughout the world. This module deals with how social work in Europe can meet and deal with the challenges of social problems caused by poverty.
Social problems are created in a national, European and global context. Every country has its own way of dealing with social problems depending on different historical, cultural, religious and political backgrounds. The commonalities are that all countries have to deal with social problems through resources from the family, voluntary organisations, the state and the market. The difference is that all countries have a “welfare mix” of their own.
A cross-cultural comparison of social work and welfare systems in Europe should facilitate understanding of social problems in the different parts of Europe and should improve strategies and methods of social work.
This module will focus on anti-oppressive approaches in social work. A central questions  is: How can social workers fulfil the values written in The International Federation of Social Workers definition of social work: “In solidarity with those who are disadvantaged, the profession strives to alleviate poverty and to liberate vulnerable and oppressed people in order to promote social inclusion”.

Expected Learning Outcomes

Competences


Professional Development

·         Students will be able to describe, analyse and compare social work practice in relation to welfare systems and poverty in various European countries

·         Students will have the opportunity to expand knowledge of poverty and welfare systems

·         Students will have the opportunity to reflect upon skills and share attitudes in the context of poverty in Europe and social problems related to it

Cooperation

·         Students will be able to work together with students and teachers from other countries in a virtual classroom

·         Students will give and share information about poverty and welfare systems  in their own country

Methods

·        Students will have an opportunity to share their understanding of poverty and anti-oppressive practice as a social work method.

·         Students will be able to collect and present data in an international context

·         Students will be able to use methods for comparative international studies

·         Students will be provided with a case study which will enable them to describe, analyse and compare different welfare systems and  social work methods dealing with poverty.

 

Competence Indicators

Knowledge
At the end of this course, students can expect to have knowledge of:

·         Commonalities and differences in social work as a subject and profession in Europe

·        The roles of the family, the market and the state in different welfare systems
·         Commonalities and differences within the welfare systems in Europe, and the consequences for social work practices
·        Poverty as a phenomenon in different European countries
·        Commonalities and differences in living conditions and in social work in addressing poverty and social exclusion in general.
·        Ethical dilemmas in social work practice regarding people living in poverty.

·        Different approaches, theories and methods in social work dealing with poverty, especially anti-oppressive approaches

Skills
At the end of this course, students can expect to have developed skills in:

·         Presenting a comparison of commonalities and differences in living conditions and welfare systems in three different European countries

·         Analysing and reflecting on situations of poverty

·         Planning social work where there are issues of dealing with poverty and social exclusion

·         Reflecting on their own learning process during the course, understanding how the learning has influenced their own professional development

·         Analysing and presenting ideas about different approaches to social work related to poverty in Europe

·         Elaborating an anti-oppressive approach dealing with poverty in social work

·         Assembling a portfolio demonstrating knowledge, skills and attitudes in relation to the use of social work theories and methods connected to poverty and different welfare models in Europe

·         Writing papers according to academic evidence based writing, using the Harvard Guide of References

Attitudes
At the end of this course, students will have had opportunities to explore and share their attitudes, and will have: 
·        Increased openness to their possibilities to addressing poverty in their practice
·        Greater consciousness of different attitudes related to poverty
·        More openness to reflect on their own attitudes towards poverty and how they influence their approach in their practice
·        Greater willingness to address poverty  as a factor in service users lives

Theme 2C: Social work Practice in a European Context

Introduction

The traditional background of social work has been connected to two different roots of origin, the individual casework tradition and the community work tradition. Modern social workers in Europe have to deal with social problems that need multiple methods for solution. Knowledge about society and law as well as psychological understanding of the human nature is important and is paid great attention in the educational programmes in Social Work. However, achieving “Best Practice” is in many part of Europe a challenge to the educational programmes.
Social work emerges in the space between person and environment or person-in-situation. In a comparative study of social work in Europe we will focus mainly on system- and critical-  theories and methods. We believe it will be interesting to see how these theories and methods will appear when they are used in different contexts on similar problems and with people from different countries. A central question will be what skills and competences are needed in different social contexts?

Expected Learning Outcomes

Competences
Professional Development

·         Students will be able to describe, analyse and compare the impacts of different theoretical and methodical approaches to social work practice in various European countries

·         Students will expand knowledge about social work theories, methods and the professional role.

·         Students will reflect upon skills and ethical dilemmas connected to professional competences in social work practice across Europe

Cooperation

·         Students will be able to work together with students and teachers from other countries in a virtual classroom

·         Students will give and share information about social work education, practice and professional development in their own country in a problem solving process

Methods

·         Students will be provided with a case study which will enable them to describe, analyse and compare the situations from different cultural contexts, social work methods, interventions and working settings in three different countries

·         Students will be able to collect, describe, analyse and present data in an international context

·         Students will be able to use methods for comparative international studies

·         Students will have the opportunity to share their understanding of commonalities and differences in social work practice, professionalisation and status of social work in different social work settings.

Competence Indicators

Knowledge
At the end of this course, students can expect to have knowledge of:

·         Commonalities and differences in social work as a subject and a profession in Europe

·         Different theoretical frameworks and methods of social work practice, such as systems theory and methods, critical theory and methods and empowerment theory.

·         The importance and impact of cultural aspects on social work practice in different European countries

·         The level of professionalisation and professional status of social workers in different European countries

Skills:
At the end of this course, students can expect to have developed skills in:

·         Recognizing the influences of their cultural identity on their own approach to working with people

·         Presenting the situation in their own country concerning theories and methods they are learning and using in social work

·         Understanding and accepting the potentials and limits of their role in social work practice with individuals, families and groups

·         Reflecting on their own learning process during the course and explain how the learning has influenced their own professional development

·         Questioning and thinking critically about theories, the effectiveness of interventions and alternative approaches

·         Analysing the use of theoretical and methodical  approaches by comparing different approaches to work with a common case

·         Analysing different interventions with a common case by comparing, skills and competences needed for the case concerning differences in culture, law regulations, professionals social works roles and status

·         Assembling a portfolio demonstrating knowledge, skills and attitudes in relation to the use of social work theories and methods in a European context

·         Writing a paper according to academic evidence based writing standards; using the Harvard Guide of References

Attitudes
At the end of this course, the students will have had the opportunities to explore and share their attitudes, and will have: 

·         Reflected on and recognised the range of ethical dilemmas in social work practice in the Europe

·         Greater consciousness on theirs own value orientation, identified by professional behaviour

·         Greater openness towards  theirs own experiences concerning ethical dilemmas in social work practice

·         Increased awareness of their own power to influence their own study situation and professional practice

V. READING LISTS

is available in a separate document you can find here:
http://virclass.net/index.php?action=static&id=78