Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Social Work


Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work

First Advisor

Marshall Fine

Advisor Role

Dissertation Supervisor


This thesis is an exploratory analysis of: “How Canadian schools offering bachelor programs attend to social work ethics education in the 21st century?” A concurrent triangulation mixed method research design was chosen to draw upon the strengths of quantitative and qualitative analysis, and minimize the limitations of each method. Deans and Directors at the thirty-two Faculties, Schools and Departments of Social Work with bachelor social work programs in Canada were contacted and requested to identify an expert in social work ethics education to partake in this research. Fifty-three (53%) of the schools had educators either complete the survey and/or engage in an interview. This research, consistent with the historical trend, locates ethics education in Canadian bachelor programs in the curricular margins. Yet, there is hope for social work ethics education and educators in Canada. This research provides an infusion of hope through the “Moving Beyond the Surface” (MBS) vision of ethics education. The MBS vision with its’ process focus suggests “how” to approach ethics education today, and in the future. MBS has three interrelated categories: (a) space creation for ethics dialogues; (b) ethics dialogues; and, (c) student learning ideals. Space creation for ethics dialogues is an essential condition for the two subsequent categories of ethics dialogues and student learning ideals. Space is created by faculty members serving as “ethical advocates.” Educators enhance curricular space for ethics dialogues by working within existing curricular processes to advocate for the inclusion and enhancement of profession ethics and/or mobilizing others to become ethical advocates (i.e. faculty members, field supervisors, students).

Convocation Year


Included in

Social Work Commons