Teaching ethics in social work classroom. The challenge of socratic method of education.

Paolo Gomarasca

As clearly stated in 2004 by the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) and the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW), the purpose of the work of IASSW and IFSW on ethics is to promote ethical debate and reflection. The article argues that the role of dialogue in promoting ethical awareness could be strengthened by adopting a «socratic» model of education. For these reasons, this article is structured in three parts: 1) an introduction to the crucial meaning of education and the contemporary background within which teaching ethics takes place; 2) a brief investigation of the etymological origin of the term «awareness» and its relevance in social work ethics; 3) third and final point concerns promoting ethical awareness in social work students and the focus here will be on the socratic model of teaching.


Social work education, ethics, socratic method, awareness