Human Development Education for Social Workers in Multicultural Societies

Dorit Roer-Strier*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

9 Scopus citations


In many countries, social workers are faced with the challenge of tailoring their practice to the diverse needs of children and families in multicultural realities. Our training and teaching practices, however, lag behind in their readiness to face this challenge. Attempts to reconcile cultural perspectives and postmodernism with the traditional goals of human development education are generally premised on the following assumptions: (a) postmodernist education fosters the ability to think critically and question assumptions underlying claims to knowledge; (b) theories should be evaluated for their usefulness and applicability to a more equitable society; and (c) a dialogic model of education in human development highlights the ‘inherently polysemous’ nature of human existence rather than transmitting a codified body of knowledge. The paper calls attention to the challenges of cross-cultural psychology, indigenous psychology and postmodern critique and offers the means of confronting these challenges. Examples are based on teaching experiences in Israel and the US.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)311-326
Number of pages16
JournalSocial Work Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Cross Cultural Perspective
  • Human Development Education
  • Post Modern Critique


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