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Ashley Davis and Rebecca Mirick

Only liberal views welcome? Experiences of conservative students in BSW education

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“I teach the best and learn the best when I can bring my full and authentic self to the classroom. [T]hinking about how do I create spaces where students can bring their diverse religious and political ideologies forward is important”

Ashley Davis &
Rebecca Mirick

In this episode, our guests Dr. Ashley Davis and Dr. Rebecca G. Mirick discuss the dynamics of power and privilege in relation to teaching and social work education, with an emphasis on the experiences of conservative students. They describe their research involving students’ perceptions of microaggressions within classroom, and provide compelling examples of how conservative students have experienced marginalization. Strategies for creating a more inclusive and affirmative learning environment are considered.

Ashley Davis, PhD, MSW, is a clinical associate professor at the Boston University School of Social Work. Currently, she teaches Social Work Research and Clinical Practice with Individuals and Families. Her research interests include addressing white privilege and promoting anti-racism in social work practice and education. She maintains a private practice for individuals and couples in Arlington, Massachusetts.

Rebecca G. Mirick, PhD, LICSW is an assistant professor at Salem State College School of Social Work where she teaches clinical practice, human behavior, and research courses to undergraduate and graduate social work students and works as a research consultant for the Riverside Trauma Center. As a clinical social worker, Dr. Mirick has worked with children, adolescents, families and adults in a variety of settings, including outpatient mental health settings; preschools; early Intervention; HeadStart programs; and DYS. Dr. Mirick’s research has focused on client engagement, the scholarship of teaching and learning, and suicide prevention.

Interviewer: Peter Sobota, LCSW

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1 comment
  • Yes! Thank you so much for this podcast episode. As a more moderate MSW student struggling with resistance to ideologically diverse discussions in the classroom, this episode was very validating. When I went to look for the article, I found: Ashley Davis & Rebecca G. Mirick (2022) Microaggressions in Social Work Education: Learning From BSW Students’ Experiences, Journal of Social Work Education, 58:3, 431-448, DOI: 10.1080/10437797.2021.1885542. However, after a cursory reading, I am not able to find research or discussion about microaggressions specifically towards conservative students. Have those findings been published? Would you please guide me? Thanks again!

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