Do Accreditation Requirements Deter Curriculum Innovation? Yes!

By Markward, Martha | Journal of Social Work Education, Spring-Summer 1999 | Go to article overview

Do Accreditation Requirements Deter Curriculum Innovation? Yes!


Markward, Martha, Journal of Social Work Education


      Point/Counterpoint is a regular feature of the Journal of Social Work
   Education. Its purpose is to provide a vehicle for the expression of
   contrasting views on controversial topics in social work education. Our
   goal is to illuminate important debates and explore the diverse
   perspectives that are shaping social work education.

      In each feature, two or more individuals are invited to comment on a
   topic about which they have differing viewpoints. Each commentator is given
   an opportunity to make a brief rebuttal. In this issue, Martha Markward
   (associate professor, University of Georgia) and Carol S. Drolen (associate
   professor and MSW program chair, University of Alabama) address the
   question: Do Accreditation Requirements Deter Curriculum Innovation?

In reviewing Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) curriculum policy and accreditation standards for 1952, 1961, 1969, 1982, 1988, 1994, and, due to revisions, 1997, the core curriculum of master's-level social work education has changed very little. What has changed is that the master's curriculum has become standardized and regulated. For example, no accreditation standards existed per se in 1969, and in fact the expectation was that there "will be diversity among schools in the kinds and numbers of concentrations offered, as well as in the designations, and in the instructional activities and learning experiences provided" (CSWE, 1969). By 1982, standards were established to ensure that curriculum content in the foundation year of MSW education is congruent with content in undergraduate social work education, as well as to ensure that content in the concentration year prepares students for licensure. Unfortunately, standards that currently regulate MSW education deter curriculum innovation within the context of contemporary thinking about curriculum.

Conceptual Framework

Pinar, Reynolds, Slattery, and Taubman (1995) suggest that an educational curriculum should be a moving form that is continually critiqued, evaluated, reformulated, and re-expressed (p. 866). Yeager (1997) proposes that curriculum development is also social change--that is, about changing people, particularly faculty and students--rather than about revising statements written down on paper (see also Miel, 1946). Additionally, Applebee (1996) notes that, instead of identifying an exhaustive list of tasks and activities to guide curriculum or distinct guidelines for what should be included or excluded in the curriculum, educators and students should identify topics of conversation that allow the latitude to discuss relevant past, present, and future experiences.

Relative to these notions about curriculum development, CSWE accreditation requirements related to faculty, student development, curriculum, and innovative programs are among those that deter curriculum innovation. I will take these up in the context of the master's-level evaluative standards (EVS).

EVS 4--Faculty

This standard states that faculty responsibilities will include "classroom instruction and field liaison; professional advising; planning, implementing, and evaluating the program; and continuing professional development as a teacher-scholar" (CSWE, 1994, Interpretive Guideline 4.0, p. 123). In addition, faculty members are expected to "participate in other professional activities and to undertake community responsibilities essential to the attainment of the program's goals." With these responsibilities, many faculty, especially junior faculty, have little time to think meaningfully about curriculum. Bisno and Cox (1997) also note that faculty members have little motivation to engage in in-depth discussions about the curriculum; as a result, "systematic and ongoing curriculum review, innovation, and coordination are often lacking" (p. 385), even though this scrutiny is warranted.

EVS 5--Student Development

The student development standard mandates that "academic credit for life experience and previous work experience must not be given in whole or in part, in lieu of the field practicum or of courses in the professional foundation areas specified in the Curriculum Policy Statement" (CSWE, 1994, EVS 5. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Do Accreditation Requirements Deter Curriculum Innovation? Yes!
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.