What can social workers learn from African proverbs?
Keywords:African proverbs, African students, black students, creative arts, global social work, teaching and learning
There continues to be a call on social work education to incorporate diverse teaching and learning resources and strategies to meet the needs of its diverse learners. Proverbs tend to be well known metaphors, which are memorable and are passed on from one generation to the next, and exist in all cultures and in many languages. This paper presents an innovative and creative use of proverbs to facilitate this process, and provides students from different cultures the opportunity to understand and contextualise aspects of social work education and practice. The paper proposes the use of African proverbs to enhance learning for the growing numbers of African students of social work in England.
It is hoped that the use of proverbs, which combine cultural heritage and literature as creative arts, will enable students to view the world of social work with an additional lens, making it relevant, interesting and meaningful. The proverbs used in this paper have been translated from various African languages into English.
Writing from the perspective of a black female African social work academic, I believe it is important that black people are producers of knowledge and ideas in order to become a part of the writing of their own history.