Extending the Ally Model of Social Justice to Social Work Pedagogy

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Social work students, regardless of their multiple social identities in oppressed and oppressor groups, are called upon to take action against social injustice. This conceptual article introduces the Ally Model of social justice and its alignment with social work values and goals and recommends it to social work educators as a pedagogical tool to use when teaching about oppression, differentness, and privilege. It presents the literature on the model and its characteristics through the social work lens of awareness/knowledge, attitudes/beliefs/feelings, and actions/skills. It also provides limitations of the model and observations of students' responses, based on their identities, that may act as barriers when learning about oppression and privilege. Finally, recommendations for the implementation of the model across the curriculum are offered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)199-214
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Teaching in Social Work
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2014


  • Ally Model
  • social identity
  • social justice
  • teaching about oppression

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