2021 JSWE Awards

JSWE Award Winners for Volume 56

Best Reviewers

Congratulations to Bruce Friedman (University of Texas at El Paso) and Carol Tully (University of Louisville, retired), who have been selected as the Journal of Social Work Education (JSWE) Best Reviewers of 2021! Each year, the recipients of the Best Reviewer awards are selected by the JSWE Editorial Advisory Board to recognize manuscript reviewers who have demonstrated exceptional service in responsiveness to requests for review, timeliness in submitting completed reviews, and quality of written reviews. Dr. Friedman and Dr. Tully will be honored at the CSWE 2021 Annual Program Meeting in November.

CSWE and the JSWE Editorial Advisory Board would like to thank all the dedicated professionals who generously donate their time and expertise to review manuscripts and thus contribute to the value and success of the journal.

Best Articles of JSWE Volume 56

The criteria for choosing the Best Articles published in JSWE include the importance and timeliness of the content, originality of thought, innovative conceptualization of the topic, and presentation of conclusions and/or recommendations that add significantly to the professional knowledge base and to social work education.

Best Empirical Articles

Dreschsler, K., Hessenauer, S., & Jaber-Wilson, L. (2019). Engage in diversity and difference in practice competency: Exploring the explicit curriculum and outcome measures of graduate social work programs. Journal of Social Work Education, 56, 341–353.

Engaging in diversity and difference in practice is an essential skill for all social workers. The Council on Social Work Education emphasizes the importance of the development of these skills in social work education. The aim of this research was to influence best practice teaching standards and outcome measures for this competency. Self-study reports from 67 graduate schools accredited by the Council on Social Work Education were analyzed. The results of this study indicate schools are relying on assignments, readings, and videos as the means of teaching students about engaging in diversity and difference and relying on the field evaluation tool and student self-assessments as outcome measures. Results are examined in depth, and implications for social work education are discussed.

Lemieux, C., Kim, Y., Brown, K. M., Chaney, C. D., Robertson, R. V., & Borskey, E. J. (2020). Assessing police violence and bias against Black U.S. Americans: Development and validation of the Beliefs About Law Enforcement Scale. Journal of Social Work Education, 56, 664–682.

Measurement of U.S. community members’ perceptions of police historically has failed to assess police bias, violence, and accountability in Black communities. Rooted in critical race theory, conflict theory, and a substantial corpus of self-reported survey research methodology, the present study describes the development of the Beliefs About Law Enforcement (BALE) scale. Guided by a multidisciplinary and multiracial panel, whose members possess the requisite substantive and methodological expertise, BALE scale items were constructed and factor analytic techniques were performed using a purposive sample of 288 MSW, BSW, and undergraduate child and family study students. Exploratory factor analysis was used to assess the factor structure of the original 18-item BALE scale (Model 1). A subsequent confirmatory factor analysis yielded indexes indicating that the fit for the second order 15-item model was improved (Model 2) as compared to Model 1. The BALE scale achieved good internal consistency reliability (α=.87, composite reliability=.96). Limitations of the study are delineated, and the utility of the BALE scale in developing and furthering knowledge in social work education and research is discussed.

Best Conceptual Article

Lerner, J. E. (2020). “Social workers can’t be Republicans”: Engaging conservative students in the classroom. Journal of Social Work Education, 56, 56–67.

Over the past 50 years, the United States has experienced the disappearance of moderate politics replaced by a more divisive political ideology. As the country has become more polarized, universities, schools of social work, and professors have increasingly leaned left. In this era of extreme political polarization, social work educators have a responsibility to create a classroom environment in which conservative students can enhance the diversity of thought in schools of social work so that all students can be more skillful social workers while helping these students understand social work values derived from the National Association of Social Workers’ Code of Ethics. Using Johari’s window as a theoretical framework, recommendations are provided on how to productively engage conservative students.

Best Note

Shelton, J., & Dodd, S. J. (2020). Teaching Note—Beyond the binary: Addressing cisnormativity in the social work classroom. Journal of Social Work Education, 56, 179–185.

Social work educators are responsible for ensuring their students are equipped to rise against social injustice. Therefore, the marginalization of transgender, genderqueer, and nonbinary people and communities must be addressed in the social work classroom. Contextualizing the social work classroom within cisnormativity, this article reports on the ways social work classrooms may perpetuate the marginalization of transgender, genderqueer, and nonbinary populations. Practical recommendations for recognizing cisnormative practices and creating transgender-inclusive classrooms are provided.