Conscientious Refusal in Schools of Social Work : Rights, Remedies, and Responsibilities

TitleConscientious Refusal in Schools of Social Work : Rights, Remedies, and Responsibilities
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsSweifach, J
JournalTeaching Ethics
Volume13
Issue1
Pagination37-54
Date PublishedFall 2012
PublisherPhilosophy Documentation Center
ISSN Number2154-0551
Keywordseducation , personal ethics , Social Work
AbstractConscientious Objection is a deeply held religious or moral convention that precludes an individual from participating in an act that is perceived to be against their beliefs. This paper reports on a national study which explored conscientious objection by students in schools of social work. Research questions focused on the perceptions of social workers about social work students who opt-out of attending class or other school activities, as a result of a conflict with a religious or moral world view. Of the 3,300 individuals who took the survey, about 18 percent of the respondents were worried that students who opt-out are at risk of not acquiring knowledge skills, and attitudes needed to become competent professionals, 25% felt that students should not have the right to opt-out, and a small majority thought students should have the right to opt out. The author discusses the implications of this survey, and what changes social works schools may wish to make to be sure all students take part in needed course curricula and other activities.
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