Global Perspectives in Social Work (5 ECTS)

Start of the module 8.10.2021

Preamble: Finnish social work education seeks to prepare students for employment within communities and human and welfare services across Finland, Europe and internationally. Essential knowledge for achieving this aim involves an understanding of the global context of professional practice (Sosnet 2006; IFSW & IASSW, 2020). The reality that people’s lives increasingly transcend national boundaries and that global events shape local realities, has led to the recognition that the scope of social work is essentially global. Social work structures, problems and interventions are no longer located and contained within local and national boundaries. Theorist such as Dominelli (2004), Ife (2010) and Akimoto (2008) have outlined the consequences of globalization, including mass migration, superdiversity, universal human rights, growing poverty and inequality, issues of environmental sustainability, digital transformation, disaster and crisis preparedness, indigenous rights, and transnationalism, on the profession of social work. These issues are explored through emerging global perspectives in social work (i.e. structuralism, transnationalism, multiculturalism, decolonisation, and comparative analysis).
Target group: Finnish Master and PhD level social work students and Erasmus students registered through Sosnet or the University of Eastern Finland.  
Learning objectives/outcomes: The aim of the course is to provide students with an in-depth understanding of the impact of global perspectives for local social work practice, a basic competency in social work professional education. 
On completion of the course students will gain:  
knowledge of the theoretical concepts essential for the analysis of the local global context of practice
a critical understanding of a shared profession and the structures and standards of international social work 
knowledge of sustainable development goals and opportunities for transnational practice
knowledge of human rights, inequality, and power relations as a basis of structural social work
understanding of mass migration and superdiversity and the implications of critical multicultural practice and policy
recognition of indigenous realities and the decolonisation of social work practice, education, and research  
knowledge of how to undertake comparative analysis of social work    
Course structure: The course is delivered nationally, acronymous and synchronously through Digicampus. The 7 submodules involve online pre-recorded lectures, recommended readings, discussion exercises, and a final Seminar (webinar). Weekly informal webinars are offered as an optional resource to assist students navigate module material and resources. Students will be expected work in online groups to complete a comparative analyses, the results of which will be present at a  compulsory Course Webinar.  
Assignment description: To complete this course students will be required to complete and pass the following tasks. 
Learning Task 1 (30%): Compile an Individual Learning Portfolio based on weekly activities (Weeks 1 to 6).  After viewing the weekly presentations and prescribed readings, students are required to contribute to an online discussion forum, posting and commenting on other students’ responses to reflective questions or critical case studies provided. (Grade pass/fail).  
Learning Task 2 (30%): Essay on the New Global Agenda 2030 (Submitted Week 3). Students are required to write a short essay (1,500 words, excluding references) critiquing the Social Work Global Agenda based on the local context of social work context (i.e. country, regional or community).  
Learning Task 3 (40%): Group Comparative Analysis Presentation and Report  (Submitted Week 8)  Students will be allocated to groups (up to 5 participants) for  undertaking a comparative analysis of global perspectives in social work practice, research or policy, in response to a  global issue/s, involving at least two or more regions or countries. The project will be based on a scoping of current literature. Findings from the group comparative analysis report (4,000 words, excluding references) will to be presented in a Course Webinar (Week 7). 
Election criteria: Master and PhD level.
Assessment and grading: Assessed according to the UEF marking scale from 0 (Fail) to 5 (Excellent). See course site for marking and assessment criteria. 
Essential Readings: Web links are provided for at least 2 recommended readings weekly.
Recommend General Texts: 
Anand, J.C., and Das, C., (2019). Global mindedness in International Social Work Practice. London. Palgrave Macmillan.
Dominelli, L. (2010). Social Work in a Globalizing World. Cambridge, Polity. 
Harrikari, T., & Rauhala, P-L. (2018). Towards Glocal Social Work in the Era of Compressed Modernity. Routledge. (Chapters 1, 2)  
Healy, L. M. (2008). International Social Work: Professional Action in an Interdependent World. Oxford University Press.
Lyons, K., Manion K., Carlsen, M. (2006). International Perspectives on Social Work: Global Conditions and Local Practice, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan.
Number of participants: 70 UEF students with a limit of 30 students from other SOSNET universities.
More information: The module will be delivered on Digicampus.fi (similar to Moodle)
Responsible university: University of Eastern Finland
Author(s): Janet Carter Anand, Gorana Panic, Anu-Riina Svenlin
Responsible teacher: Professor Janet Carter Anand janet.anand@uef.fi 
Assisting teachers: Gorana Panic, Anu-Riina Svenlin
Evaluation of the course: A survey evaluation will be undertaken in week 7.  
Sosnet Enquiries: Mari Suonio,mari.suonio(a)uef.fi