Social Work 602

SOWK 602: Human Behavior in the Social Environment II

Prerequisite: SOWK 601 or permission of instructor

Human Behavior in the Social Environment II is the second of two Foundation courses. Students will continue to apply basic frameworks for creating and organizing knowledge of human behavior. The course examines problems of living; impacts of racial, ethical, class, cultural, religious/spiritual and gender diversity on behavior; and the reciprocal nature of interactions of persons, families, social groups, communities, organizations and institutions.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

The second in the Human Behavior foundation sequence, this course is designed to facilitate understanding beyond the introductory level of 1) the range of social systems and the variety of contexts in which human beings live; 2) the reciprocal interaction between human behavior and biological, psychological, social, cultural and economic factors in deterrence, maintenance and attainment of optimal health and well-being; 3) the value and ethical issues related to biopsychosocial theories of human development; 4) and the process of evaluating and applying theory to various client situations. Building on the notion that from a biopsychosocial perspective is facilitated both by theories drawn from the professional literature as well as by information derived from novels, autobiographies, poetry, and drama.

Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

 I. A conscious awareness of the student's personal epistemology and the ability  to operate in a manner which includes intentional reflection on interactions at the level of both content and process will be encouraged. Students will also be expected to take responsibility for their own learning and to be cognizant of the fact that as members of the class group, the learning process is shared.
II. Format - The teaching/learning context for this course will include but is not limited to didactic instruction, large group discussions, small group discussions, role-plays, student-lead discussions and other experiential activities as appropriate.

Goals and Objectives of the course

At the end of this course, students will be able to:
1. Illustrate an understanding of theoretical concepts as they apply to groups, organizations, and communities as social systems in which individuals live.
2. Identify the reciprocal interaction between human behavior and biological, psychological, social, cultural, spiritual, and socioeconomic factors in the attainment, maintenance, and deterrence of optimal health and well-being.
3. Differentiate the effects of discrimination, economic barriers, and oppression based on socio-economic class, race, gender, sexual orientation, age, mental and physical abilities, religion, etc.
4. Compare/contrast the structures and mechanisms of oppression and discrimination with principles and practices that contribute to the achievement of social and economic justice within the context of groups, communities, and organizations.
5. Appraise how the social work value of diversity relates to an understanding of human behavior from various theoretical perspectives and with specific emphasis on group, community, and organizational systems.
6. Integrate theoretical concepts learned in this course with the knowledge and skills learned in research, policy, and social work practice classes.
7. Apply critical thinking skills to analyze each human behavior theories’ usefulness as to how well it fits with the social work profession along several dimensions: values & ethics, bio-psycho-social-spiritual model, various size client, delivery, and social systems, and research method and empirical support.
8. Examine each theories appeal for acceptance for use in social work practice, research, and policy/advocacy.

Assessment Measures

Grades may be based on but are not limited to:
1. Completion of Readings and Class Participation
2. Examinations
3. Presentation/Discussion
4. Paper(s)