Assessing Antiracism as a Learning Outcome in Social Work Education

A Systematic Review


  • Phillipe Copeland Boston University
  • Abigail Ross Fordham University



White supremacy, Antiracism, Racism, Social Work Education


The current political climate and reversals of gains made during the Civil Rights Movement underscore the urgent need for preparing emerging social workers to effectively address white supremacy in social work practice. Antiracism education in social work aims to ensure competent antiracist social work practice towards the goal of eradicating white supremacy in all its forms. Given the widening racial disparities evident in income, health and educational outcomes, it is essential to examine the degree to which social work education adequately prepares emerging social work practitioners to engage in antiracist social work practice. This paper presents findings of a systematic review of social work research assessing antiracism as a learning outcome. After reviewing more than 150 studies published between 2008 and 2018, none of them focused on assessing antiracism as a learning outcome. Our review demonstrates that despite the importance of antiracist social work practice, published research on assessment of antiracism as a learning outcome is sparse and is not antiracism-focused as much as it is antiracism-inclusive. More attention to identifying and disseminating best practices for assessing student competence in antiracism practice is required to defeat white supremacy.



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