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Crafting a safe ethical space in the social work classroom

Resource type
Thesis type
(Thesis) Ed.D.
Date created
North American educational institutions remain dominated by a worldview that stems from the Western colonization process. Given the increasing diversity of students, this failure to recognize and appreciate different worldviews has left some students feeling discomforted and silenced. In order to craft an ethical and safe social work classroom in which these students can demonstrate their whole (authentic) self, university instructors must take steps to transform and decolonize education. This qualitative research study by an experienced social work instructor at Thompson Rivers University (TRU) in British Columbia, Canada, adopts a tripartite methodology (including autoethnography, narrative inquiry, and practitioner inquiry), to gain insight into the experiences of social work students and craft an ethical and safe learning environment. This research study was broken into four phases: engaging in dialogue with members of the Kamloops Gurudwara Sangat; engaging in dialogue with TRU social work students; applying teachings from these interviews to the social work classroom; and, interviewing social work students about their experience of the social work classroom. Results of this study indicate that there is potential to craft safe, ethical spaces but it is dependent on a variety of factors. These factors fall into three categories: (1) classroom characteristics, (2) student characteristics, and (3) professor characteristics. Effective inclusive social work pedagogy should take all of these factors into account.
148 pages.
Copyright statement
Copyright is held by the author(s).
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes.
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Fettes, Mark
Member of collection
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