October 15, 2007

Lock-Step Academia

Via Insty, a George Will column on how our tax dollars are being used to subsidize progressive fiddle-faddle in social work programs across the nation:

A study prepared by the National Association of Scholars, a group that combats political correctness on campuses, reviews social work education programs at 10 major public universities and comes to this conclusion: Such programs mandate an ideological orthodoxy to which students must subscribe concerning "social justice" and "oppression."

In 1997, the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) adopted a surreptitious political agenda in the form of a new code of ethics, enjoining social workers to advocate for social justice "from local to global levels." A widely used textbook -- "Direct Social Work Practice: Theory and Skill" -- declares that promoting "social and economic justice" is especially imperative as a response to "the conservative trends of the past three decades." Clearly, in the social work profession's catechism, whatever social and economic justice are, they are the opposite of conservatism.

Posted by Attila Girl at October 15, 2007 05:25 AM | TrackBack

What a surprise! I have no doubt that in a few years, Will may even see a bias in the mainstream media. By then, though, he will have to tell us about it from a soapbox in the park. Or telepathi*ally by squeezing his eyes really tight.

* as in cat. Denied by Spam Hound.

Posted by: Darrell at October 15, 2007 01:16 PM

I agree with Darrell. It is never any surprise to learn of an active effort to create and enforce a politi*al orthodoxy in a field in the humanities.

(* as in cat)

Posted by: John at October 15, 2007 03:02 PM

Here is the Response from NASW's Executive Director that was sent to the Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/19/AR2007101902281.html

Code of Concern

Dear Washington Post Editors:

Conservative columnist George F. Will has taken public umbrage with the National Association of Social Workers’ (NASW) Code of Ethics and its mandate that adherents advocate for social justice. In his review of a National Association of Scholars report, Mr. Will ignores the context in which professional education and training occurs—for all professions. This criticism misrepresents social work education and is a disservice to our members and the clients they serve.

Social workers are committed to solving social problems while helping people improve their quality of life; fairness is a defining characteristic of the profession. Like all citizens of a participatory democracy, it is critical for social work students to develop the skills necessary to advocate within available legal and political structures.

Social work students learn to use advocacy for the benefit of individuals, families and populations who are most vulnerable to the unresolved social problems of the day. Services for veterans, children, chronically ill persons, the elderly, and struggling families are improved by social work advocacy.

Members of NASW hold a diverse array of opinions on many social issues, including abortion and homosexuality as mentioned in Will’s column. However, professional social workers are united in their commitment to respecting the rights of clients to access services and expand options available to them. Social workers do not apologize for caring about people who are marginalized by society, nor do we apologize for holding members of our profession to high standards.

Elizabeth J. Clark, PhD, MSW, MPH
Executive Director
National Association of Social Workers

Posted by: ejackson at October 24, 2007 10:44 AM

Wow, and in no way did that response address the issue about how the NASW requires students to pledge to do things their way, as if that is the only way things can be done.

Posted by: Madrocketscientist at October 25, 2007 08:44 AM

Don't be silly; you're assuming there might be another approach to solving problems than the one espoused by the NASW.

Since you think that, you must not really care . . .

Posted by: Attila Girl at October 25, 2007 09:16 AM

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