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Study on the outcomes of teaching and learning about ‘race’ and racism Kish Bhatti-Sinclair (Division of Social Work Studies) Claire Bailey (Division of.

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Presentation on theme: "Study on the outcomes of teaching and learning about ‘race’ and racism Kish Bhatti-Sinclair (Division of Social Work Studies) Claire Bailey (Division of."— Presentation transcript:

1 Study on the outcomes of teaching and learning about ‘race’ and racism Kish Bhatti-Sinclair (Division of Social Work Studies) Claire Bailey (Division of Social Statistics) 15 May 2009

2 2 Background Study part of a national project evaluating outcomes of social work education (OSWE). Comprised a learning set for educators, service users, carers and trainers based in 6 English universities providing social work degree programmes. Each university focussed on a different aspect of teaching and learning.

3 3 Southampton Study Student understanding of the content on ‘race’ and racism in the curriculum. Personal and professional attitudinal change on issues of ‘race’ and racism. Influences which impact on incremental and developmental learning on ‘race’ and racism.

4 4 Research Question What is the impact of formal teaching in social work/social science programmes of study on students understanding and experience of ‘race’ and racism?

5 5 Methodology The primary data collection method used was a questionnaire. The questionnaire was designed to measure student’s self rating of characteristics, motivations, expectations and experiences devised by Carpenter (2005, pp 5-6) as 6 levels of learning. Only 3 levels (1, 2a and 2b) covered.

6 6 Levels of learning Level 1 -reactions of learners Level 2a -modification of attitudes and behaviour Level 2b - acquisition of knowledge and skills Level 3 - changes in behaviour Level 4a -changes in organisational practice Level 4b -benefits to users and carers

7 7 Questionnaire –Individual background –Impact of ‘race’ and racism on self –Responses which challenged racism –Declared individual knowledge, attitudes and behaviour –Skills and confidence –Sources of influence on attitudes to ‘race’ and racism

8 8 Study design Exploratory pilot phase (Levels 1, 2a and 2b) Ideas shared with the national project and within the school of social sciences Consultation on the methodological challenges of researching ‘race’ and racism Aims and objectives refined

9 9 Study design Exploratory pilot phase (Levels 1, 2a and 2b) Development of questionnaire to measure attitudes and behaviour Feedback from national project and learning set Ethics approval gained Social work questionnaires pilotted

10 10 Study design Baseline data collection (Levels 1, 2a and 2b) Inter-disciplinary steering group Feedback from national project and learning set Questionnaires distributed: week 2, semester 1 Individuals asked to declare knowledge on attitudes, behaviour, skills and responses

11 11 Study population Baseline data collection (Levels 1, 2a and 2b) 153 questionnaires completed by first year BSc social science students Questionnaire distributed in a Sociology class and completed on a voluntary basis. Response rate: 85% Social work students: 22%

12 12 Follow up data collection (Levels 1, 2a and 2b) Follow-up questionnaires included how personal, academic, tutorial and practice experience influenced learning and development. Questionnaires distributed: week 8, semester 2

13 13 Study population Follow up data collection (Levels 1, 2a and 2b) 71 questionnaires completed by first year BSc social science students Response rate: not available Social work students: 25% Unique identifiers allowed for a dataset of 34 respondents who completed both sets.

14 14 Data limitations - ethnicity One aim of the data was to investigate whether a student’s ethnic background was influential on her/his experiences of racism. This objective was not able to be met due to the small number of ethnic minority students in the samples. Figure 1 shows the ethnic breakdown of students in each round of data collection:

15 15 Disclosure control problems limit the possibility for disaggregation of other variables by ethnicity This is not a failing of the data collection but rather indicates that the chosen methodology was inappropriate for meeting this particular objective. The experience of black and ethnic minority students would need to be studied on a more qualitative or individual case study basis. Data limitations - ethnicity

16 16 Sampling of students was not random or representative. Therefore, results are not generalisable to all social science (or social work) students. Knowledge of racism self-rated. Therefore not possible to obtain an objective measure of knowledge. Data limitations – sampling/measurement

17 17 Lessons – sampling/measurement If the study was repeated a proper sampling technique may be used to make the results generalisable to all social science students. Examples: –an survey to specific students (a census of one cohort) –random survey (a statistical sample of the whole population)

18 18 Limitations of study design Original study not designed as longitudinal. This created deficiencies in sample management and decreased the number of respondents to both rounds of data collection. Additionally the wording of some questions was changed between surveys making direct comparison over time difficult.

19 19 Follow up data results Sources of influence on knowledge of race and racism

20 20 Almost at the end of the first year students feel that formal education is a significant source of influence. However the most significant influence is shown to be the media. It was not possible to tell if these sources of influence changed in importance over the period of the study due to the wording of the question which did not specify a time period.

21 21 Identify the areas within formal learning in which feel they gained the most knowledge of issues around race and racism. Follow up data results

22 22 Respondents were also asked to identify specific course modules which they felt delivered content on ‘race’ and racism. 2 courses identified by respondents - out of total of 8 (3 SW) as having content on ‘race’ and racism –Social problems and social policy –Sociology of everyday life Both located in the Division of Sociology and Social Policy

23 23 Findings from the matched sample (34 respondents) Self rated knowledge of racism The results show a small increase in respondents self rated knowledge of race and racism between the two waves of data collection. Mean self rated knowledge of race and racism was measured on a scale of 1 to 10. At baseline the mean score was 6.18 and 6.79 at follow up. The change is not statistically significant

24 24 Findings from the matched sample (34 respondents) Confidence in challenging racism Respondents were asked to rate their confidence, on a scale of one to five, in challenging racism in a set of five different scenarios in both waves of the survey. These scores were added together to create a scale of confidence in challenging racism ranging from 5 meaning least confident to 25 meaning most confident. Mean confidence in challenging racism at baseline was and at follow-up. This change is not statistically significant

25 25 Lessons The small size of the matched sample precluded the finding of statistically significant results. However, this study has established a model for a longitudinal survey designed to evaluate the teaching and learning of ‘race’ and racism amongst first year social science undergraduates. There are a number of possible ways in which this study could be extended, including: Following social work students through their second and third years to evaluate their learning throughout their university experience

26 26 Lessons Obtaining permission from respondents at wave one to contact them for follow up at wave two, or beyond. This should result in an increased sample size of respondents answering both questionnaires which would enable more accurate statistical tests and further breakdown by background characteristics. Additionally, the questions could be re-worded to take full advantage of the longitudinal nature of the study. For example: since the last time you filled in this questionnaire have you gained knowledge of ‘race’ and racism from the following sources? (List sources).

27 27 The process highlighted the following academic problems faced by staff delivering social work education, for example: A higher than average teaching responsibility and far less time for research related activity; Limited liaison between lecturers on course design and delivery within and across teams, departments and faculty; However, ‘race’ and racism covered within a large number of disciplines. This pointed the way to possible places where inter-disciplinary dialogue, content and methods could be enhanced. Lessons

28 28 References Carpenter, J. (January 2005) Evaluating Outcomes in Social Work Education, Evaluation and Evidence, Discussion Paper 1, SCIE/SIESWE.


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