Integrated Media & Arts in Social Work Education

At the CSWE Annual Program Meeting are presentations that demonstrate the incorporation of mathematics, fine arts, literature, and other liberal arts into lesson planning and delivery for postsecondary social work education. These presentations include a lesson plan composed of at least one EPAS competency, one liberal arts area, and one audio/video element. They are posted here to assist social work educators interested in curriculum development and multimedia teaching tools.

Integrating Media and Arts in Social Work Education: The Example of Aging in Prison
Anne D. Katz (University of Southern California) and Joanne Altschuler (California State University, Los Angeles)

Inmates aged 55 and older are the fastest growing age group in U.S. prisons and generally have a lower level of physical and mental health compared to their community counterparts. This presentation integrates media and arts in social work education as well as addresses incarcerated older adults, ageism, and gender issues.

Standpoint and Metaphor: Exploring Gender and Cultural Diversity Through Poetry
Michelle Emery Blake (Austin Peay State University)

This session, incorporated into the course Social Work and the Arts, was designed to employ both existing and participant-written poetry to facilitate discussion about gender and cultural diversity. The current format adds the component of visual metaphor (art).

Integrating Content on Human Trafficking With Audiovisual Media in Classrooms
Nairruti Suketubhai Jani and Thomas Felke (Florida Gulf Coast University)

Human trafficking is an emerging issue of concern, with an estimated 2.4 million victims worldwide. In this session the presenters discuss the use of audiovisual media and photography as tools for teaching subjects such as human trafficking to students.

Lesson Plan: The Global Origins and Practice of Critical Social Work—Pedagogy and Theater of the Oppressed
Juliana Svistova, Lara Bowen, and Meera Bhat (University at Albany, SUNY)

The presentation introduces the origins of critical social work, including the approaches of Brazilian educator Paolo
Freire and Brazilian theater director Augusto Boal. The presenters wish to demonstrate praxis using visual arts and
theatrical improvisation to integrate exploration of personal diversity in relation to others and the influence of personal
bias in practice.

Lesson Plan: Multimedia Social Justice Project
Paula Gerstenblatt and Diane McDaniel Rhodes (University of Texas at Austin)

Oral histories and multimedia are used to examine the complexities of social justice, diversity, and power in communities. Students combine archival material and reflective narratives connecting historical events to current sociopolitical reality. They learn about the reflexive and iterative nature of social work practice and the failure of shortsighted solutions.

Media Engagement: Diverse Older Adults who Overcame Discrimination
Roberta R. Greene (emerita, University of Texas at Austin) and Michael A. Wright (Tennessee State University)

Students view interviews collected during a research project of diverse older adults who, despite early discrimination, became resilient older adults. Films reveal strategies for combating oppression as well as achieving social and economic justice. Students gain insights of storytellers’ historical contexts and how they overcame differences that limited equal participation in society.