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Curricular Blueprinting: The Relevance of American Social Work Education for International Students

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This study assesses the relevance of US-based social work curricula for international students. Both the perceived advantages and disadvantages of international educational training are considered, including the consequences of curricular adaptation. The study utilizes multiple qualitative methods including participant observation, 15 semi-structured interviews, and text analysis. The majority of international respondents reported intending to work with poverty alleviation and social development. Respondents reported learning some inappropriate skills, intervention strategies, and policies that cannot be appropriately applied across cultures, and which are divorced from local context. Benefits of exchange include discussions of marginalized populations, enculturation into Western values and methods that may be beneficial to future job opportunities, and the enhancement of critical thinking skills to address social problems.
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Keywords: Curriculum; Higher Education; International; Students; Teaching

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2009

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