SWK6132 The Philosophical and Ethical Foundation of Social Work
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WSSW course syllabus
COURSE DESCRIPTION ¶This course explores the theoretical foundation of social work from both philosophical and ethical points of view. ¶The Philosophical Realm ¶The Philosophical nature of this class is designed to assist students in developing a philosophy of helping underpinned by the values and ethics of the profession. The classroom becomes a learning environment which engages students in a heightened level of self-understanding in order to become more aware of the very value system that they bring to the clients with whom they work. The course content, anchored in philosophical, biblical, and spiritual frameworks, elucidates the social work philosophy of helping. The basic purpose of this course is for students to develop a philosophy of helping. ¶In this course, such philosophical themes as spirituality, the dual nature of the human being, conflicting conceptions of time, good and the problem of evil, loss and suffering, the Holocaust and other genocides, sin and repentance/behavior change, and social justice are studied from philosophical, and religious perspectives. Spiritual/religious and professional systems of though t, anchored in philosophical realms and social work, are studied in the course of understanding the complexity of human nature. Conflicts and similarities are highlighted. ¶The focus of the course is on acquiring specific knowledge and on examining values. It is organized around the following questions: What is the essence of being human? What is the role of time in human functioning? How do human beings deal with the problem of evil, and how do students and clients explain tragedy and pain? Where was God during the Holocaust and other acts of genocide and natural disasters - the crisis of faith? What is the process of behavior change for people who are unhappy with their lives? How can social justice effect social change? The goal is for students to develop conceptions of human nature – a philosophy of helping - that they can apply in their work with clients..... ¶This is a required course for all advanced standing students, located in the Human Behavior and Social Environment sequence. Students should have worked with clients and client systems for a year and been exposed to a range of problems and issues in social work practice. They are expected to gain insight into their experiences through the application of philosophical concepts. The course further develops themes in the Human Behavior course as we apply the duality of human beings to the stages of the life cycle and the development of the professional self. It connects to the practice courses, as students share their practice experiences to develop new ways of viewing clients and their problems. It incorporates content from Social Welfare Organization in studying the concept of social justice in social work and religion. It includes elements of feminism, substance abuse, b attered women, child abuse, the elderly and minorities which are cited to illustrate various ways of understanding human nature. Research is cited in studies of behavior change..
Sytner, Ari. (2021, Fall), Syllabus, SWK6132 The Philosophical and Ethical Foundation of Social Work, https://www.yu.edu/sites/default/files/inline-files/PHILOSOPHICAL%20%26%20ETHICAL%20FOUNDATIONS%20OF%20SW-6132.pdf .
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