Globalization, social work education, charity model, rightsbased development, sustainable development


Social workers in the United States are confronted on a daily basis with challenges reflecting the imprint of globalization. Nevertheless, research shows that most of them are not trained to deal with the global realities of the 21st century, including how to use a rights-based sustainable development approach. This article proposes the use of a rights-based development model as opposed to a charity-based approach. It provides a rationale for implementing a global perspective in social work education that addresses sustainable development consistent with social work values and unique mission. Furthermore, it proposes that it is paramount to adhere to a global perspective in social work education, especially in light of growing global interdependence in economics, communication, and human migration. The article discusses the implications of trends in online/distance education learning to global social work practice, and outlines implications of globalization and the growing global interdependence to social work theory, welfare policy, and practice. It also stresses the need to include this content in field education. The article concludes with a discussion on how to incorporate global content into social work curricula and how to overcome the barriers that may emerge in this process.

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