Transgender, social work education, practicum, nonbinary


Current anti-transgender legislative activity necessitates social workers take action in solidarity with transgender and nonbinary (TNB) individuals and communities. Pervasive discrimination and marginalization of TNB people across multiple public domains, including education, is irrefutable (James et al, 2016). Social work education is no exception. Not only is there a documented lack of affirming educational and practicum opportunities for TNB social work students (Austin et al., 2016), social work students also report being ill-prepared to practice with TNB individuals and communities (Craig et al., 2015). Social workers are ethically obligated by their professional identification to demonstrate competency related to service provision with marginalized individuals and groups and to confront oppression and foster social justice, including related to gender identity (National Association of Social Workers [NASW], 2021). Yet, social work educational settings must first reckon with their own cisnormativity and anti-trans bias. Scant research has explored the experiences of TNB social work students, particularly during the practicum experience, termed social work’s “signature pedagogy” (Council on Social Work Edu- cation [CSWE] Educational Policy 3.3, 2022). This paper reports on part of a multi-phase project examining TNB social work students' practicum education experiences.

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