30 Social Work Practice and Its Historical Traditions Teaching Methods and Skills We recommend that instructors integrate concepts from this chapter throughout the course and in assignments. For example, the implications of the inadequacies of the social safety net will become much more apparent as students experience and discuss in class the lack of available resources for their clients. Their agency’s influence on their practice will have far more meaning when they discover that their clients’ needs often extend far beyond what they are able to provide. In subsequent chapters, we suggest ways that instructors can integrate this material through in-class discussions and writ- ten and group assignments. We assume that students will already be familiar with many of the issues that we raise in this chapter. Practice instructors can revisit these issues as follows, with a specific focus on their implications for students’ field practicums: 1. Students can be asked to secure the history of their field settings. This could include when the agency, program, or department came into existence how the need originally came to the public’s attention and in what ways its purpose has changed over time. Class presentations can be used to con- nect the students’ settings to historical perspectives and current societal and professional themes. 2. Students might be asked to survey the field of practice in which their set- tings are embedded (e.g., child welfare, health, schools, corrections, addic- tions, etc.), identifying historical trends and specifying examples of shifts in emphasis between person and environment or between cause and function. 3. Provide a brief lecture that emphasizes the relevance of the COS and set- tlement house movements their female leadership the distinction between “friendly visitors” and “settlers” the advantages and disadvantages of Mary Richmond (a leader of the COS movement) borrowing the medical metaphor of study, diagnosis, and treatment and the distrust of professionalization shown by Jane Addams (a leader of the settlement house movement). 4. Students can be assigned to small groups (of three or four members) to discuss and report to the larger class on the COS and settlement house movements the creation of separate social welfare programs for people of color the evo- lution of casework, group work, community organization, and social welfare policy practice integrated and generalist practice and the cause-function debate. The emphasis should be on how these issues are manifested and reflected in students’ experiences in the field practicum. 5. Small student groups can also be used to explore content related to immi- gration, the global economy, and terrorism technological revolution and research as a guide to practice.
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