Indoctrination Syllabus: Social Work 510 at Kansas State University · 17 October 2006

Indoctrination Syllabus: Social Work 510 at Kansas State University

Social Welfare

Social Work 510/Sociology 510 - Spring, 2002

Cia Verschelden Phone: 532-4964; e-mail:

Office: 213 Waters Office Hours: by appointment


This course is about the historical evolution of the social welfare system in the U.S. Understanding historical realities will help us to make sense of current conditions of people and systems. We will approach history using an "ecological systems perspective" in which everything is connected to everything else, thus there are understandable reasons why things are the way they are. Social realities and the social welfare system are "social constructs," made by people and therefore amenable to change by people. In this class, human diversity is recognized and appreciated, even as we acknowledge historical realities that have resulted in imbedded inequalities. An understanding of the development of social injustice is a necessary first step toward working for social justice.


This is the introductory course in the Social Welfare Policy and Services component of the undergraduate social work education program. Courses in sociology, political science, and economics are among the prerequisites for this course, and the liberal arts perspective that students have acquired prior to this course will aid in their understanding and analysis of social welfare.


Program objectives refer to the knowledge, values, and skills that students should have when they graduate from the Social Work Program. The objectives that are specifically addressed in the Social Welfare class are the following:

v Apply critical thinking skills within the context of professional social work practice.

v Understand the forms and mechanisms of oppression and discrimination.

v Understand the strategies of change that advance social and economic justice.

v Understand the history of the social work profession and its current structures and issues.

v Use theoretical frameworks to understand the interactions among individuals and between individuals and social systems (e.g., governments, nations, economic systems).


Students in SOCWK510/SOCIO510 will:

  • Demonstrate their understanding of and apply critical thinking skills to U.S. history relative social welfare.
  • Demonstrate their knowledge of the historical evolution of the many forms and mechanisms of oppression and discrimination that exist in the U.S. today.
  • Demonstrate their ability to discuss historical events/movements that have resulted in social change that either advanced social and economic justice or contributed to injustice.
  • Demonstrate their understanding of the history of the social work profession and its current structures and issues.
  • Demonstrate their understanding of theoretical frameworks that help to explain the interactions among individuals and between individuals and social systems (e.g., governments, nations, economic systems).


Expectations for Students

There are no points given per se for attendance. However, since in-class quizzes cannot be made-up, attendance is to your great advantage. Students should inform me by phone or e-mail if they will miss class and why and get notes and other class information from a fellow student if at all possible.

In addition to the obvious--reading assignments before they are discussed in class and contributing to class discussions--I appreciate straightforward feedback from you regarding how well the class is meeting your needs. Let me know if material is not clear or when its relevance to the learning objectives for the course is not apparent (or when you're bored out of your mind!).

It is also expected that class participants will treat classmates with respect, avoiding contentious arguments, and observing the rules of confidentiality regarding personal information shared in class.

Class Format

Class sessions will consist of group work, instructor input, and small group and class discussion. Students are expected to be active class participants, sharing personal experiences, contributing ideas generated by assignments, and expressing views based on independent study and reflection.

Assignments and Exams

In-Class Quizzes - Individual (150 points)

There will be a five-question multiple-choice quiz on every chapter that is assigned. These will be given at the beginning of class. If you come in late or are absent, you may not make up the quiz. If your absence is excused, you will not be responsible for the quiz for that day.

In-Class Quizzes - Group (100 points)

Every quiz will be taken by each student individually and by your group working together.

Class Contribution (100 points)

Students are expected to be present in the classroom in both body and mind. Contributions to class discussions will be evaluated on quality as well as quantity. Students who read the assigned chapter for the class period and come prepared to discuss the content will be best prepared to contribute significantly during class. Students who are passively (e.g. sleeping) or actively (e.g. talking in private discussions, working on the Collegian crossword, or being otherwise occupied) disrupting the class may be asked to leave. Half of the points for contribution will be assigned by me (moderately-to-heavily influenced by attendance) and the other half will be assigned by peer evaluation in your class groups.

Interview Paper (100 points)

Students will interview a person who has lived through an experience that is relevant to the history of social welfare as it is presented by the readings in this class. Possible topics include the following: a person who...lived through the Great Depression (1928-1935 or so); fought in a major war; was a conscientious objector and thus did not serve in the military during a major war; is receiving or has received "public assistance;" is a member of a racial/ethnic minority group.

Papers are to be four (4) pages long, typed double-space with print the size of the print on this syllabus (12), with one-inch margins. Papers are due April 18.

Outside Speakers (100 points)

Students will attend at least three (3) speakers outside of class who are speaking on issues relevant to social welfare. I will suggest speakers in class and students can find others on their own. This is your responsibility. Speakers must be approved by me prior to the event whenever possible. If not approved ahead of time, there is the chance that a speaker will not be approved, so it's in your best interest to plan ahead. For each speaker, the student will write a one-page summary/analysis/reaction to the speaker and the content. Papers are due by Jan. 26, Mar. 28, and May 2.

Papers should consist of three paragraphs: 1) a description of the speech, film, event, etc.;

2) your reaction and/or analysis; and 3) the relevance to social welfare class content. In general, these will be graded primarily on content, but papers that have serious errors (in spelling, grammar, sentence structure, punctuation, etc.) will be returned to you. Credit will be given when an acceptable effort if resubmitted.


Exams are designed to measure the extent to which students' can demonstrate their knowledge and understanding in the areas listed under COURSE OUTCOMES (on p.1). Exams will cover material from the required readings and class lectures. No make-up exams will be given without prior arrangements.

Exams: February 19 (150 points) and April 2 (150 points).

Final Exam: May 13, 9:40 - 11:30 am (150 points).

Grading: Course grades will be based on the total number of points accumulated.

900 -1000 A 800-899 B 700-799 C 600-699 D <600 F

An "A" is given for exceptionally good work and a "B" is given for work that is good or very good. A "C" is given for work of average quality. A "D" is given for work that is below average but meets minimum assignment requirements. "Incomplete" (I) grades will be given only when extenuating circumstances beyond a student's control interfere with the timely completion of course requirements. Arrangements for this should be made as soon as it is known that an "I" will be requested.


I will follow the course outline as closely as possible and will notify students of modifications in the outline if needed. I will attempt to create and maintain a classroom atmosphere in which you feel free to express your views, while remaining sensitive to the needs of others and to the need to address adequately each course topic. Students often disagree about the ideal amount of time that should be given over to lecture as opposed to discussion. Please participate in discussions while being sensitive to the constraints imposed by class size and the need to cover course material. I will interrupt discussion 1) when it seems to me that one person is dominating discussion at the expense of others and/or 2) when I think that we might not cover a course topic adequately if discussion is not limited.

The time that I am in my office varies according to other classes, meetings, etc. I am in my office much of the day, but it will be more efficient for you to make an appointment than to just stop by on the chance that I will be there. If you want to make an appointment with me, call me at my office (532-4964). If I'm not in when you call, leave a message and I'll return your call or e-mail me at


Student Rights and Responsibilites: Information on your rights and responsibilities may be found in the KSU Undergraduate Catalog and in the Social Work Student Handbook.

Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence and Racial/Ethnic Harassment: Please review these university policies on p. 32 of the 1998-2000 undergraduate catalog.

Academic Dishonesty: Plagiarism and cheating are serious offenses and may be punished by failure on the exam, paper or project; failure in the course; and /or expulsion from the university. For more information, refer to the section on Academic Dishonesty in "Inside KSU".

KSU Undergraduate Honor System: On all exams and papers, each student is to write and sign the following statement: "On my honor, as a student, I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid on this academic work."

University Policy on Accommodations: Any student with a disability who needs an accommodation or other assistance in this course should make an appointment to speak with me as soon as possible.


Day, P. J. (2000). A new history of social welfare (3nd ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Zinn, H. (2001). A people's history of the United States. New York: Harper & Row, Publishers.


Brown, D. (1970). Bury my heart at Wounded Knee. NY: Henry Holt and Company.

Eisler, R. (1987). The chalice and the blade. San Francisco: HarperCollins Publishers.

Gordon, L. (1994). Pitied but not entitled: single mothers and the history of welfare. New York: The Free Press.

Katz, M. B. (1986). In the shadow of the poorhouse: A social history of welfare in America. New York: BasicBooks.

Loewen, J.W. (1995). Lies my teacher told me: Everything your American history textbook got wrong. NY: Touchstone.

Mead, L. M. (1992). The new politics of poverty. New York: BasicBooks.

Morris, R. (1986). Rethinking social welfare: Why care for the stranger? New York: Longman.

Parenti, M. (1995). Democracy for the few. New York: St. Martin's Press.

Trattner, W. I. (1994). From poor law to welfare state: A history of social welfare in America (5th ed). New York: Free Press.


Jan 17 Introduction to the course and to the syllabus and pre-test.

22 Day - Ch. 1 Values in Social Welfare

24 Day - Ch. 2 The Institution of Social Welfare

29 Day - Ch. 3 The Beginnings of Social Welfare: Political Economy & Early Societies

31 31 Day - Ch. 4 Feudalism and the Welfare State

Feb 5 Zinn - Ch. 1 Columbus, the Indians, and Human Progress

7 Day - Ch. 5 Welfare Moves to the Americas

12 Zinn - Ch. 2 Drawing the Color Line

14 Zinn - Ch. 3 Persons of Mean and Vile Condition

19 Exam #1

21 Zinn - Ch. 4 Tyranny Is Tyranny

26 26 Zinn - Ch. 5 A Kind of Revolution

28 Day - Ch. 6 America to the Civil War

Mar 5 Zinn - Ch. 6 The Intimately Oppressed

7 Zinn - Ch. 7 As Long As Grass Grows or Water Runs

12 Zinn -(Ch. 8 We Take Nothing by Conquest, Thank God)

- Ch. 9 Slavery Without Submission, Emancipation Without Freedom

14 14 Day - Ch. 7 The American Welfare State Begins


26 Zinn - Ch. 10 The Other Civil War

(Ch. 11 Robber Barons and Rebels)

28 Day - Ch. 8 The Progressive Era, War, and Recovery

Apr 2 Exam #2

4 Zinn - Ch. 12 The Empire and the People

- (Ch. 13 The Socialist Challenge)

9 Zinn - Ch. 14 War Is the Health of the State

11 Day - Ch. 9 The Great Depression and Social Security for Americans

16 Zinn - (Ch. 15 Self-help in Hard Times) - Ch. 16 A People's War?

18 Zinn - Ch. 17 "Or Does It Explode?"

23 Day - Ch. 10 Civil and Welfare Rights in the New Reform Era

25 Zinn - Ch. 18 The Impossible Victory: Vietnam

- (Ch. 19 Surprises & Ch. 20 The Seventies: Under Control?)

30 Day - Ch. 11 The Return to the Past

May 2 Day - Ch. 12 The Reactionary Vision

7 Zinn - Ch. 21 Carter-Reagan-Bush: The Bipartisan Consensus

- (Ch. 22 The Unreported Resistance)

9 Day - Ch. 13 The Synergistic Cycle

Evaluation of course & instructor & review for final & post-test

Final Exam - May 13, 9:40 - 11:30 am

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