Mississippi College Department of Sociology and Social Work

Mississippi College Department of Sociology and Social Work
Generalist Social Work Practice III SWK 433
Fall 2013 Course Syllabus
Course Title
Social Work Practice With Groups SWK 433
Course Credit
3 semester credit hours
SWK 331, SWK 332
Co Requisite(s)
SWK 434
Mary T. Johnston Nicholas
Office: 114 Jennings Hall - Office hours are posted
Office Phone: 601. 925.3831 Cell: 601. 668-6399
E-Mail Address: mjohnsto@mc.edu
Required Textbook(s)
Zastrow, Charles H., (2012) Social Work with Groups. 8th edition. Belmont, CA: Brooks.
ISBN: 978-0-84003450-2.
Course Description
This course is the third of the four courses in practice sequence of the social work curriculum. It
builds on the previous practice courses, (SWK 331, SWK 332) with a specific emphasis on
generalist practice social work with groups. It provides experiential learning opportunities to
integrate knowledge, values, and skills as both a group leader and group member. The effects of
diversity on group interaction are stressed.
Course Rationale
This course is designed to enhance student ability to practice in settings with various groups by
learning to transfer and apply knowledge of group work and the formation of groups in society,
especially in areas appropriate to the course units. The theme of cultural diversity will be
discussed as it relates to each course unit. Specific approaches related to group intervention will
be explored throughout the course.
Program Objectives
The objectives of the Social Work Program are consistent with the Educational Policy of the
Council on Social Work Education. Program objectives include:
1.1. apply critical thinking skills within the context of professional social work practice
1.2. understand the value base of the profession, its ethical standards, principles, and
practice accordingly
1.3. practice without discrimination and with respect, knowledge, and skills related to
client’s age, class, color, culture, disability, ethnicity, family structure, gender, marital
status, national origin, race, religion, sex, and sexual orientation
1.4. understand and interpret the history of the social work profession, its contemporary
structures and issues
1.5. apply the knowledge and skills of generalist social work practice systems of all sizes
1.6. use supervision and consultation appropriate to social work practice
2.1. evaluate research studies, apply research findings to practice, and evaluate their own
practice interventions
3.1. identify and evaluate social problems
3.2. analyze, formulate, and influence social policies
3.3. function within the structure of organizations, service delivery systems and seek
necessary organizational change
3.4. use communication skills differently across client populations, colleagues, and
4.1. understand the forms and mechanisms of oppression, discrimination, and
apply strategies of advocacy and social change that advance social and economic justice
Course Objectives
1. Demonstrate an understanding of the historical and contemporary context structures and
values that influence the development of group theories and practice. Meets CSWE EP
2.1.3 as evidenced by quizzes/examinations, the leadership/membership experience and
the research paper assignment.
2. Understand and apply the theory of stages of group development and group dynamics.
Meets CSWE EP 2.1.3, 2.1.7 as evidenced by quizzes/examinations, the
leadership/membership experience and the research paper assignment.
3. Participate in group work, as a member and facilitator, using professional boundaries and
professional demeanor. Meets CSWE EP 2.1.1, 2.1.2, 2.1.3, and 2.1.4, as evidenced by
the group leadership/membership experience.
Use critical thinking skills to continually analyze models for planned change. Meets
CSWE EP 2.1.3 as evidenced by quizzes/examinations, the leadership/membership
experience, and the research paper assignment.
Use group work to advance human rights and social and economic justice. Meets CSWE
EP 2.1.5 as evidenced by the leadership/membership experience.
Engage group members in planned change. Meets CSWE EP 2.1.10 a-e as evidenced by
the leadership/membership experience.
a. Use interpersonal skills to engage group members in the planned change process
Meets CSWE EP 2.1.10 as evidenced by the leadership/membership experience.
b. Assess client system strengths and challenges, develop mutually agreed-on
prevention/intervention goals, and select appropriate strategies. Meets CSWE EP
2.1.10 as evidenced by the leadership/membership experience.
c. Initiate action to implement prevention/intervention strategies to enhance the
capacity of groups that are consistent with organizational goals. Meets CSWE EP
1.10 as evidenced by the leadership/membership experience.
d. Continuously analyze, monitor, and evaluate prevention/interventions with
groups’ progress toward goals using multiple sources of data. Meets CSWE EP
2.1.10 as evidenced by the leadership/membership experience.
e. Facilitate transitions and endings by planning for, integrating, and promoting
sustainable and transferable change. Meets CSWE EP 2.1.10 as evidenced by the
leadership/membership experience.
Use group work to collaborate with colleagues and systems of all sizes for effective
policy action and social change efforts. Meets CSWE EP 2.1.8 as evidenced by the
leadership/membership experience and the research paper assignment.
Provide leadership to develop groups to meet client, agency, and/or community needs to
promote sustainability. Meets CSWE EP 2.1.9 as evidenced by the
leadership/membership experience and the research paper assignment.
Methods of Instruction
The methods of instruction to be utilized in this class will be varied. They may include lectures,
discussions, readings, guest speakers, experiential exercises, written assignments, and oral
Course Requirements
 Class Participation
10% of final grade
 Two unit tests (20% each)
40% of final grade
*1st exam-9/26; 2nd exam-10/24; Final exam-12/14 at 8:00 AM
 Researched Group Role Play
20% of final grade
*10/29, 10/30, 11/5
 Group Observation Assignment
20% of final grade
 Final Exam
10% of final grade
* Final exam-12/14 at 8:00 AM
Tests feature a variety of examination formats such as multiple choice, true/false, short answer
and essay. Students are responsible for content in assigned text and other assigned readings.
Additionally, students are responsible for class handouts, class discussion, class exercises, films,
student presentations and lectures that supplement readings in text.
Students may not use aids (books and other materials) while taking tests unless authorized
by the instructor.
Grading Scale
93 -100 = A
84 – 92 = B
75 – 83 = C
70 – 74 = D
Below 70 = F
Academic Integrity and Honesty
Academic dishonesty will not be tolerated in any form. Please refer to the current year’s
Mississippi College Undergraduate Catalog at http://catalog.mc.edu.
Plagiarism is the presentation of someone else's information as though it were your own. If
you use the words or ideas of another person; or if you use material from any source-whether a book, journal, magazine, newspaper, business publication, broadcast, speech,
electronic media, or any other source--you must acknowledge that source. Plagiarism on
assignments will result in the student not receiving full credit.
A student will receive a grade of F in a course immediately upon accumulating 8 absences in
classes meeting once a week. Please refer the current year’s Mississippi College Undergraduate
Catalog at http://catalog.mc.edu. for further attendance policy. Tardiness will reflect negatively
on student’s grade. If a pattern persists in being late for class the professor has a right to count
tardiness as an absence.
Class Policies:
 The instructor retains the right to deviate from this syllabus throughout the
 The use of cell phones during class time is prohibited. Cell phones must be in the off or
silent mode during class unless otherwise discussed with the instructor prior to class time.
 Personal computers may not be used in class without permission from the instructor.
 The official drop date for class in the Fall Semester 2012 may be found in the current
year’s Mississippi College Undergraduate Catalog. (Friday, October 25, 2013)
 If a student is absent for a test he/she must contact the instructor prior to the test and
provide documentation and/or an official excuse concerning the absence as requested.
The possibilities of test retakes will be at the discretion of the instructor. Quizzes and
class activities may not be made up.
 Late papers/presentations will receive a deduction of several points each day they are late
at the discretion of the instructor. If a student knows s/he will be unable to attend class
on the day papers or projects are due the student is expected to contact the instructor
prior to class and present documentation concerning the absence as requested.
If a student is involved in outside activities as a representative of Mississippi College, the
student is responsible for informing the instructor of the excused absence prior to the
missed class. This supplements the information that is disseminated by the Office of
Student Affairs.
Students are responsible for class assignments and for obtaining missed material from
other classmates.
Students are responsible for maintaining their own academic standing and attendance
record for the class.
Statement of Disability Accommodation
In order for a student to receive disability accommodations under Section 504 of the Americans
with Disabilities Act, he or she must schedule an individual meeting with the Director of Student
Counseling Services (SCS) immediately upon recognition of their disability (if their disability
is known they must come in before the semester begins or make an appointment immediately
upon receipt of their syllabi for the new semester). The student must bring with them written
documentation from a medical physician and/or licensed clinician that verifies their disability. If
the student has received prior accommodations, they must bring written documentation of those
accommodations (example Individualized Education Plan from the school system).
Documentation must be current (within 3 years). The student must meet with SCS face-to face
and also attend two (2) additional follow up meetings (one mid semester before or after midterm
examinations and the last one at the end of the semester). Please note that the student may also
schedule additional meetings as needed for support through SCS as they work with their
professor throughout the semester. Note: Students must come in each semester to complete
their Individualized Accommodation Plan (example: MC student completes fall semester IAP
plan and even if student is a continuing student for the spring semester they must come in again
to complete their spring semester IAP plan).
Student Counseling Services is located in Alumni Hall 4th floor or they may be contacted via
email at kelly22@mc.edu. You may also reach them by phone at 601-925-7790.
Statement of Compliance
Please refer to the current year’s Mississippi College Undergraduate Catalog at
http://catalog.mc.edu for further information on the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of
1974, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990,
and Title IX.
Non-Discrimination Policy
Within the university’s structure as a faith-based university, the Social Work Program and
faculty makes continuous efforts to promote, demonstrate professional behavior and maintain a
strong value base with regard to diversity, equality, and social justice. Students are admitted to
MC and the Social Work program without regard to race, ethnicity, gender, age, creed,
physically challenging conditions, political philosophy, or sexual orientation. The Social Work
program embraces the University’s policies on non-discrimination as exemplified in the current
year’s Mississippi College Undergraduate Catalog at http://catalog.mc.edu.
Undergraduate Catalog:
In compliance with federal law, including provisions of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of
1973, and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Mississippi College does not illegally
discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, age, disability, or military
service in admissions, in the administration of its education policies, programs, and activities or
in employment. Under federal law, the university may exercise religious preferences in
employment in order to fulfill its mission and purpose.
Course Outline
*Note: Additional required readings may be assigned to each unit.
Unit I – Generalist social work practice with groups. Types of groups. Historical perspectives
with groups, development of groups.
Required Reading: Zastrow- Chapter 1
Unit 2 – Group dynamics: leadership; group dynamics: goals and norms; verbal and non-verbal
Required Reading: Zastrow, Chapters 3-5
Unit 3 – Practice with different groups – change oriented groups; support and self-help groups;
growth and development groups; prevention groups
Required Reading: Zastrow Chapters 6-9
Unit 4 – Generalist practice with organizations, the organization as a social system, the change
process in organizations, task groups in organizations; Generalist practice with communities;
using the change process with communities; task groups in communities; community change;
program planning and resource development; group development with community task groups.
Required Reading: Zastrow Chapters 10-13
Course Schedule
This schedule is intended as a guide – the professor reserves the right to shift sessions
and topics around based on the learning needs of the class. The students should
complete the readings as they are outlined. This is especially important since the
homework will cover the required readings for that period of time. The student is
responsible for all readings whether the material is covered as lecture material or not.
Week One: Unit I, Review Syllabus, Course Outline, Assignments
Week Two: Unit 1, Chapter 1
Week Three: Unit 2, Chapters 3-4; Review for first exam
Week Four: Unit 2, Chapter 4; First Exam-Chapters 1, 3-5
Week Five: Unit 3, Chapter 6
Week Six: Unit 3, Chapter 7
Week Seven: Unit 3, Chapter 8: Fall Break
Week Eight: Unit 3, Chapter 8-9; Review for 2nd Exam
Week Nine: Exam II, Chapters 6, 7, 8, 9
Week Ten: Unit 4, Chapter 10, Researched Group Role Play
Week 11: Unit 4, Chapter 11; Researched Group Role Play
Week Twelve: Unit 4, Chapter 12
Week Thirteen: Unit 4: Chapter 13
Week Fourteen: Thanksgiving
Week Fifteen: Unit 4: Chapter 13; Review for Final; Group Observation Assignment
Description of Assignments
Class Attendance and Participation: as met by CSWE EP 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.9, 2.10
This course is practice related. Class will include “group discussion activities” and/or “skillbuilding exercises” as opportunities for students to share what they are learning or for practicing
the attendant skills. Because we will be sharing life experiences in class confidentiality has to be
Students are graded on the following aspects of participation: active class involvement and
discussion, demonstrating an understanding of the course materials, and evidence of having read
the readings and completed the in-chapter exercises. Class participation grade is not only
determined by the quantity of participation but also quality. Grades will be based on the
instructor’s observation of class participation.
Researched Group Role Play: as met by CSWE EP 2.1, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.10
In addition to weekly experiential practice role plays, students will each conduct an
extensive researched group role play. Students will be formed into small groups of no more than
6 members. Each group will role play a treatment group in front of class utilizing specific
theoretical frameworks. Students will alternate in the leadership role to demonstrate their
practice behaviors. The first facilitator will orchestrate the beginning of the group;
successive facilitators will conduct program activities appropriate to the theoretical
frame and population; and the final facilitator will conduct closure activities. Each
group will reflect adherence to social work values and ethics, and application to a
specific (child, adolescent, adult, elderly or family group) population. The groups
should target a population which is diverse, at-risk, and/or disadvantaged. The
session should demonstrate techniques appropriate to the “middle” group
developmental stage and the developmental life cycle of the treatment population.
This assignment will be worth 25% of the total course grade. Evaluation components
will include:
• Evidence of preparation and creativity
• Theoretical coherence demonstrated
• Group developmental stage (“middle”) represented appropriately
• Intervention modeling associated with “middle” stage of group development
• Social work perspective evident in context of role play
• Demonstration of client developmental level (life cycle) taken into account
Additionally, each group is to hand out to the class a summary (minimum of four pages) of their
role play and relevant research conducted that should include, but is not limited to:
• Type of group (brief description addressing purpose, location, number of sessions,
open-ended versus closed-ended, etc.)
• Theoretical framework(s) being implemented
• Member characteristics (general description)
• Description for each group member’s character (student’s real name with
corresponding name adopted for role play; age; ethnicity; individual goal for
group; developmental stage in the life cycle; relevant life and environmental
circumstances; role within the group, such as monopolizer, scapegoat, and so on;
A list of references that your group used to prepare the role play so that others
interested have a starting list of resources *
Also, each member will write a two to three page paper reflecting on the group role play
Rubrics for evaluation
Researched Group Role Play a met by CSWE EP 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.10
Excellent (93-100) – Student participates in the group process in the role of leader and member
as assigned; performs appropriately in each role; submits an thorough summative, evaluative
paper on the leadership experience – typewritten, APA style.
Good (84-92) – Student participates in the group process in the role of leader and member as
assigned; performs appropriately in each role; submits an summative paper on the leadership
experience – typewritten, APA style
Average (75-83) – Student participates in the group process in the role of leader and member as
assigned; performs somewhat appropriately in each role; submits a paper that summarizes but
does not evaluate the experience. Not written in appropriate APA style.
Below Average (70-74) Student does not participate regularly as a group member and/or does not
fulfill group leadership assignment; or performs inappropriately in either role. Does not submit
written assignment in APA style; written assignment does not summarize nor evaluate their
group participation experience.
Poor (Below 70) – Student does not participate in various parts of the experiential exercise,
including leadership/membership participation, submission of completed paper.
Group Observation Assignment as met by CSWE EP CSWE EP 2.1, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.10
Students will locate a service agency with group work services or support group.
When the agency is chosen, permission must be given by an agency administrator
or group leader for group observation. You will observe a minimum of two times. In past years,
some students have had difficulty finding a group to observe. It is recommended that you be
creative and start looking for opportunities early. Many agencies have requirements that student
observers be approved as “volunteers” and sometimes approval entails various background
checks. Volunteer coordinators at agencies usually know what the agency’s requirements are.
Psycho-educational groups are more likely to be open to observers.
A second option is to attend THREE 12-step program meetings and writing a paper about selfhelp groups. Joining a therapy or psycho-educational group and observing the interactions in the
group while attending.
In all cases, confidentiality must be respected and adhered. Observe the
group, taking notes while you observe or immediately after the group experience
if note-taking would be too disruptive to process (unless the facilitator allows
audio taping of the session, in which case notes can be taken after the group).
Once you return home and reflect on your experience, create a group profile and
reaction paper including the following information:
a) The purpose of the group-including the benefits and goals for the group participants
b) Group composition and structure
c) The facilitator’s leadership techniques and style. (You may interview the facilitator to get
more information and to understand the group better).
d) Specific dynamics noted re: interactions between members, systems observations, etc.
e) The stage of group development
f) An overall assessment of the strengths of the group based on “c-f” above.
g) Plan what you would do if you were facilitating this group
The paper should be no less than 5 pages and no more than 10 pages, typed,
double spaced. It is okay to write from a “first person” perspective. No
references are required.
Rubrics for evaluation
Group Observation Assignment
Excellent (93-100) – Student demonstrates complete and accurate understanding of the
model/theory, its application to group work, uses excellent writing skills, and appropriately
references and documents the sources of information, using APA format if references were used.
Student communicates verbally in a clear and concise manner, maintains eye contact with the
audience, is organized in presenting the information, and able to share information with the
audience in a scholarly manner.
Good (84-92) – Student demonstrates a mostly accurate understanding of the model/theory, has
an accurate understanding of the application to group work, uses good writing skills, and
appropriately references and documents the sources of information, using APA format if
references were used. Student communicates verbally in a clear manner, maintains eye contact,
and able to share most of the information with the audience.
Average (75-83) – Student demonstrates an understanding of the model/theory, but may be
challenged in understanding the application to group work; uses adequate writing skills,
adequately able to references and documents the sources of information, using APA format if
references were used. Student communicates verbally, has a moderate level of eye contact with
the audience, is moderately organized in presenting the information, and able to share
information with the audience in a somewhat scholarly manner.
Below Average (70-74) – Student provides information that fails to show a complete or accurate
understanding of the model/theory, uses poor writing skills, or fails to appropriately reference
and document the sources of information. Student communicates verbally by reading
information, having no eye contact with the audience, is not organized in presenting the
information, and/or does not share the information in a scholarly manner.
Poor (Below 70) – Student fails to complete the assignment.
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Some Relevant Journals and Newsletters
Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal – Chicago, IL: Kluwer Academic/Human Sciences
Press [Bimonthly.]
Groupwork – London: Whiting and Birch Ltd. [Tri-annual.]
International Journal of Group Psychotherapy.
Journal for Specialists in Group Work – Alexandria, VA: Association for Specialists in Group
Work, a division of the American Association for Counseling and Development. [Quarterly.]
Journal of Child and Adolescent Group Therapy – New York: Human Science Press.
Research on Social Work Practice – Newbury Park, CA: Sage. [Quarterly.]
Small Group Behavior.
Small Group Research: An International Journal of Theory, Investigation, and Application
(Incorporating Small Group Behavior and the International Journal of Small Group
Research) - Newbury Park, CA: Sage. [Quarterly.]
Social Work with Groups: A Journal of Community and Clinical Practice (Vol. 1, No. 1., Spring
1978) – Binghamton, NY: Haworth Press. [Quarterly.]
Social Work with Groups Newsletter – Association for the Advancement of Social
Work with Groups, Inc., Akron, OH: c/o The School of Social Work, University of Akron.
Tell-A-Group Hotline Newsletter – Ann Arbor, MI: School of Social Work, Univ. of Michigan.
Youth and Society – Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
Youth Today: The Newspaper on Youth Work – Washington, DC: American Youth Work Center.
[Bimonthly.] Free.