Anti-othering co-education

Research output: Other contribution to conferencePresentation only


This paper reports on three practices used in online social work education. People enrolled in online Social Work degrees at CSU commonly have families and work commitments in addition to their studies. Many are already working in the human services. The educational practices discussed here leverage the maturity and experience of the people enrolled. These practices are: critical reflection tasks on the experiences of students as users of human services; connecting people in the same fields of practice across States through threads on subject discussion boards; and incorporating student specialist knowledge in subject presentations. This approach enriches the connection of course material to the lived experience of people already in practice, and models inclusion and democratic practice by educators. The approach has yet to be evaluated but responses from the people participating are encouraging. We are interested now to hear thoughts from other educators and to hear about similar strategies being used by others. We see these practices as contributing to; bringing the service user into the class, discouraging an ‘us and them’ approach to tertiary education, and of contributing to de-stigmatising. It incorporates the knowledge of the people in the class, elevating their role and the valuation of their own knowledge. It makes the limitations of the academic more transparent – I have knowledge and experience but I am not a specialist in all topic areas that I facilitate. This approach contributes to epistemological justice, the inclusion of the ‘service user’ view, and brings critical social work practice into the classroom.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 19 Nov 2020
Event2020 ANZSWWER Symposium and NFEN Workshop - Virtual event, Australia
Duration: 19 Nov 202020 Nov 2020 (program) (Symposium website)


Conference2020 ANZSWWER Symposium and NFEN Workshop
Abbreviated titleDigital Technologies in a Time of Change
OtherIn today’s world, social work is operating in an environment of immense change. This change is not limited to one realm of our lives, it impacts our profession in our interpersonal and community practice, in the education of our students and the development of ourselves and our colleagues, and in the research that we undertake to examine the impact and our responses to this change. Throughout this climate of change social work is continuing to be proactive and creative, with an ever-present focus on social justice and a critical approach. Keynote speaker presentations and abstract presentations will contribute to a robust discussion of what it means to continue to work towards positive change, in line with the following broad themes:

Theme 1: Digital technologies in a time of change
Theme 2: Regional, rural and remote and international social work
Theme 3: Indigenous knowledge, methodologies and perspectives
Theme 4: Disruptions in politics, civil society and the environment
Theme 5: Social work education in the field and in the classroom
Theme 6: New Voices in Social Work Research
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