A glimpse of the truth: evaluating 'debate' and 'role play' as pedagogical tools for learning about sexuality issues on a law and ethics module

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14 Citations (Scopus)


Social work education is familiar with concepts such as social exclusion, marginalisation, anti-discriminatory and anti-oppressive practice. This familiarisation implies that students are adequately prepared to embrace equality and diversity, become 'culturally competent' and subscribe to moral and ethical standards including the rights of service users to respect and support regardless of sexual orientation. The ability of social work students to articulate and develop their own theories for practice and to handle personal issues when these conflict with 'theories' on equality and diversity are important aspects of learning. Educators teaching about sexual orientation issues however currently have fewer texts or support networks to draw on when addressing these. This paper looks at the effectiveness of 'debate' and 'role play' as pedagogical strategies and tools when teaching complex ethical issues on a law and ethics module. Dramatic and creative participative methods were used through the tools of debate and role play. These were used with students to explore a specific topic around gay adoption in the context of learning about anti-discriminatory law. The paper seeks to evaluate the outcomes of this approach by drawing on the students' post learning reflection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)244-258
Number of pages15
JournalSocial Work Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2010


  • anti-discriminatory law and ethics
  • experiential learning
  • gay adoption
  • sexuality
  • social work education

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