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Becoming a Lifelong Advocate

Ideology, politics, and the influence of values often override evidence-based policy. When there is evaluation conflict, a policy advocate must be prepared to defend their reasons for wanting to implement a policy. Because almost all proposed policies are circumscribed by politics, you should be prepared for some conflict, ranging from having your research ignored, to having the accuracy of your data questioned, to having your personal values brought into question.
Your work as a policy advocate is and should be an extension of your commitment to the social work profession. As such, it is important to continually reflect on how your actions and intentions align with the mission, values, and ethics of social work. For this Discussion, you will consider how your social change project connected with the mission of social work as described by NASW. Additionally, you will consider how your project represents the values of the social work profession.
To Prepare:
• Read Chapter 14 of the Jansson text.
• Review the Code of Ethics by NASW found in the Learning Resources this week.
o Focus on the mission of social work as defined in the section “Preamble.”
o Review the six core values outlined in the section “Ethical Principles.”
• Review the video in the Required Media this week.
• Consider how your Social Change Project in this course reflects the mission and values of social work. It is okay if you find that your project does not align with some aspect of the mission or values—this is an opportunity to reflect and consider how you can continue to strive to uphold the mission and values of the profession.

Post to your Discussion, addressing the following:
• Explain how your Social Change Project upholds the mission of the social work profession. Cite 2–3 specific examples from your project in your explanation.
• Select one core value from the NASW resource that you think is least evident in your Social Change Project. Explain your selection. Include actions you will take to better represent the value in your future advocacy work.
• Describe additional steps you will take as a social change and policy advocate to ensure your advocacy work continues to be guided by your social work mission and values as defined by NASW.

Sample Solution

students advance into higher grades, the number of students that feel engaged decreases from 75% to 34%. Ross Brenneman, the assistant editor at Education Week Teacher, explains how Gallup, an analytics and advice firm, surveyed 1 million US students on their engagement in school. They found that with every passing grade, more students believe that they aren’t engaged with their education and school environment (Brenneman 1). This is significant because it leads to a flawed perception of their own education, with no knowledge of the education’s purpose. The stimulus material “Social Media and The Movement of Ideas” by Edward Kessler explains how the recent rise of social networks leads to an increase in the efficiency of the movement of ideas. These social networks refer “to the use of ‘web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into an interactive dialogue” (Kessler 1). This social network can be contextualized as VR devices, which treat educational communication as an interaction between students and their learning, consequently leading to higher engagement. The use of VR is further analyzed by Jane McGonigal in her TED talk “Gaming Can Make a Better World.” Using the example of climate change to convey her message, McGonigal explains how gaming through augmented devices can be used to help individuals understand and solve complex real-world problems (McGonigal). This technology can be applied to academics by subjecting students to a type of game that enhances their learning. There have already been debates on introducing VR into educational settings, as many opponents of the idea explain that it is costly and not effective enough to overtake traditional teaching methods. Currently, educators predominantly use traditional methods of teaching: textbooks and lectures. As social networks increasingly become integrated into our society, changing curriculums by embedding social networks is a question to be considered. As such, VR devices can benefit students’ education and learning abilities by making them more engaged with their learning process, which can be better than current teaching methods. In contemporary society, students are accustomed to receiving information through interactive learning environments due to the rise of social media. Their knowledge of news and education outside of the classroom comes from informal experiences such as posts and videos on platforms such as Snapchat or Instagram. In contrast, according to Elliot Hu-Au and Joey J. Lee, a doctoral student and a lecture professor, respectively, of Columbia University, students’ education in a classroom setting comes from “transm
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