REFLECTIONS FOR SOCIAL WORK PEDAGOGY IN THE FUTURE

Given the current societal trends of disconnection—for example, busyness, overworking, excess activity, excess materialism, technology's increasing influence, speed-filled living, and the use of mind-altering substances—it is critical that the social work profession develop new pedagogies, paradigms, and methodologies to equip social work students with effective healing modalities for individuals and communities throughout the world. “Social work can enhance its potential for change by not only reflecting on its unexamined support of modernism, but also by re-defining its foundational beliefs and values” (Coates, Gray, & Hetherington, 2006, p. 18). Coates et al. affirm what they call “alternative foundational beliefs” that are grounded in “a belief that humans are part of the web of life and share a common destiny with the Earth, and in this context seek a new understanding of what it means to be human” (p. 18). They expand: “The principles of Indigenous cultures such as wholeness, harmony, balance, and a close relationship of the physical and spiritual are consistent with the foundational beliefs of interdependence and emergence” (p. 18). In this light, it is critical that social work educators role model a commitment to these emerging principles and find ways of teaching new modalities that authentically represent a paradigm shift and are inclusive of mind, body, spirit, and emotions in the counseling process.

 
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