Contemporary film as a tool for teaching ethics and values to social work students

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Conference theme: Conference theme: Evolving or revolving? Sub-theme: Embracing arts, creativity and well-being. Presentation title: Contemporary film as a teaching tool for social work ethics and values “The use of contemporary films, originally films produced for movie-going audiences and home video viewers, as teaching aids has the potential to bridge the gap between the orderly, predictable world of the classroom and the complex, unpredictable world of practice.” (Pepi Downy et al 2003) This presentation will provide a summary of The Film club, which is a research project developed by staff in the Department of Social Work at Royal Holloway University of London. The project was run between November 2011 and April 2012 with students on the 1st year of the MSc in Social Work selected as participants. Participants were asked to watch 3 contemporary films with subject matter related to social work practice, engage in a post film discussion which was facilitated by an experienced social worker and an academic member of staff and comment on their views around social work ethics and values through pre and post film questionnaires. The presentation will outline the film clubs research aims, its methodology and detail the initial findings of the research. It will provide a summary of existing literature around the use contemporary film to support teaching and learning social work ethics and values. There will be a contrast with current ways in which values and ethics are taught on the MSc in Social Work at Royal Holloway and other HEI’s. The proposed presentation of contemporary film as a teaching tool for social work ethics and values relates to the conference aims of 21st century solutions: evolving or revolving by highlighting that contemporary film represents a creative but not evolutionary tool in supporting the teaching and learning of social work values and ethics. The presentation directly relates to the sub theme of embracing arts, creativity and well-being by exploring how film can be a direct teaching tool on social work qualifying courses. References Downey, E., Jackson, R. Puigh, M. & Furman, R. 2003. Perceptions of efficacy in the use of contemporary film in social work education: An exploratory study, Social work Education: The International Journal, 22 (4):401-410.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2012
EventJSWEC - Conference centre, Manchester, United Kingdom
Duration: 2 Jul 20122 Jul 2012


Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • ethics
  • values
  • contemporary film
  • social work practice

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