What’s All the Fuss about Social Work Syllabi? Action Speaks Louder Than Words in Addressing the Silence of Whiteness in Social Work Curriculum: A Game Theory Perspective
Sulaimon Giwa, PhD; Michael G. Mihalicz, MScM

A cursory review of the mission statements of progressive Canadian schools of social work reveals that most have a commitment to anti-oppressive education. That is a commitment to social justice and the amelioration of multiple forms of oppression using a broad range of praxis-oriented approaches. In practice, questions remain regarding these schools‘ commitment to transformative education. To what extent do the pedagogical promises of a ―progressive‖ education match the actions of education administrators? Can a school or curriculum be progressive if devoid of a critical analysis of the operation of Whiteness at the root of social injustice? The first author‘s experience teaching an elective undergraduate course and the curriculum tension experienced by students over the lack of content on Whiteness in their core courses are examined. We analyze two different events experienced by them using solution concepts drawn from game theory, to answer the question: Is the non-disclosure of course syllabi evidence that a school has something to hide? Action-oriented efforts—and difficulties encountered—in raising consciousness about the students‘ need for curriculum change to address this issue are discussed. Pedagogical implications and recommendations are included for transformative practice that might support the integration of content on Whiteness in mandated social work courses.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jssw.v7n2a6