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Coverage of environmental issues in undergraduate curricula in social work in four European countries: the UK, Switzerland, Germany and Greece
Social Work Education  (IF),  Pub Date : 2022-01-19, DOI: 10.1080/02615479.2022.2028763
Evripidis Papadimitriou


The inclusion of the natural environment in the theory, education and practice of social work has increasingly become a matter of interest amongst scholars and social work educators. There is a large and increasing amount of literature on this topic. However, the inclusion of environmental issues in the curricula seems to be evolving very slowly to date. This paper examines 94 social work curricula in four European countries, and notes the presence of environmental issues in their content, by using term categories. Findings show that the natural environment is extremely under-represented in the education of social workers. The paper argues that social work curiccula need to undergo immediate reform on an international level. The discussion section includes suggestions on how the natural environment could be integrated into social work curricula. The first suggestion is to create new subjects with a direct reference to environmental issues and green social work. The second one is to include in existing subjects topics that will draw on environmental sociology and focus on the interconnections between social and environmental problems.