Teaching gender issues on social work courses: Struggles and successes

Bailey, Sylvia and Cox, Pat orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-2565-4564 (1993) Teaching gender issues on social work courses: Struggles and successes. Social Work Education, 12 (1). pp. 19-35. ISSN 0261-5479

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02615479311220031


This article describes our teaching about gender on two social work courses. It describes the struggles and successes we experienced in continuing to teach gender issues on a one year course and to set up a discrete gender course on a two year course. An evaluation of the course was achieved through verbal and written feedback from the students. We also questioned staff about their views on discrete teaching on this subject.

There were marked differences of opinion between staff, but in general students had found it a valuable experience. However, there were many issues that need review for future courses. ‘Race’ and gender issues are political areas for education and practice and will inevitably create conflicts and tensions if we are to raise awareness.

We dedicate this article to the DSW I (later DSW II) student group 1989–1991 and also to the DASS student group 1989–1990.

Gender is usually taken to be the socially imposed dichotomies of male and female roles and attributes. This is a very short statement for what is for most of us a very complex and often shifting experience (Phillipson, 1992).

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