The CSULB SSW is committed to critical race theory through a critical pedagogical framework applied to BASW and MSW coursework. This framework centers the perspectives and needs of the most marginalized and oppressed individuals and segments of our society and directly addresses differences in power, privilege, and status based on race as it intersects with class, gender, sexuality, immigrant status, ability, and other factors at micro, mezzo, and macro levels.
Our approach to teaching and learning is based upon critical consciousness, grounded in diverse teaching and learning strategies that affirm the importance of a strengths-based perspective, a collaborative learning process, the defining and analyzing of unequal power relationships, centering counter-narrative perspectives, and a commitment to resilience, transgression, and equity. We look to assist in the cultivation of teaching strategies that will help our students question the social construction of reality, the power dynamics of knowledge construction, and the interplay of social structures and relations. Ultimately, we are committed to social work education that enhances opportunities for social change and social justice.
More specifically, course content integrates and emphasizes tenets of critical race theory (CRT):
- Racism is ordinary
- Interest convergence (racism serves the interests of white people)
- The social construction of race
- Critique of neoliberalism (individual success based on merit, emphasis on the market, small government/small welfare state)
- The importance of counter-narratives or the unique voice of people of color and other oppressed categories.
Our integration of CRT embraces intersectionality, centering race and including differential experiences and impacts based upon ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, immigration status, ability, and other identities. In keeping with this commitment, the SSW will incorporate other critical theories that uplift and address diverse intersectional categories. In addition, we will centrally include writings, videos, and other pedagogical materials created by, featuring, and accountable to marginalized and oppressed individuals and groups.