Faculty as a Barrier to Dismantling Racism in Social Work Education


  • Ebony N. Perez Saint Leo University




Race, Critical Race Theory, social work, faculty, racism


Facilitating learning around race and racism is often uncomfortable for faculty as well as students. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to investigate the experiences of undergraduate social work educators who teach about race and racism in social work programs. I employed a qualitative case study design to understand the lived experience of undergraduate social work educators who teach race specific content. I employed a combination of purposive sampling and snowballing methods to identify nine participants from the Southeast region of the United States. Utilizing a Critical Race Theory (CRT) framework to analyze interviews, several key findings emerged revealing faculty as barriers to facilitating learning around anti-racist content in the classroom. These findings were a) their own racial identity; b) insufficient formal preparation around race and racism; c) lack of faculty comfort with anti-racist content; and d) lack of skill in teaching anti-racist content. Recommendations include the implementation of scaffolded antiracist content throughout social work curricula that would be required by the Council on Social Work Education as part of the accreditation process.



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