Spain: Decentering Global Social Work Education through PhotoVoice


  • Eduardo José da Silva Tomé Marques, Ph.D., Universidade dos Açores Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Ponta Delgada, Portugal
  • Mieko Yoshihama, Ph.D., University of Michigan School of Social Work, 1080 S. University, Ann Arbor, MI, U.S.A.


  • Antonio López Peláez, Ph.D., National Distance Education University Department of Social Work, Madrid, Spain
  • José Luis Fernandez-Pacheco, Ph.D., University of Extremadura, Badajoz, Spain and National Distance Education University Department of Social Work, Madrid, Spain

Sponsors: International Association of Schools of Social Work

Maps courtesy of used with permission

Maps courtesy of used with permission

Project Description:

Our 3-country project team has been busy creating an interactive online PhotoVoice course in three languages (Portuguese, Spanish, and English). The purpose of this project is to identify and address practice and education challenges faced by social work students and practitioners in different countries and across social work systems and educational contexts.

This multi-country, multi-lingual course is a site of engaged cross- and inter-cultural learning and knowledge production. Photovoice, a participatory method for research, education, and community change, serves as a visual-narrative method to expose and surface invisible social issues and ideologies. In this course, PhotoVoice also serves as a participatory and inclusive channel for student to learn and express in different ways. This is critically important given that most social work courses, online courses in particular, rely heavily on verbal and written communications.

Course activities will provide students with opportunities to develop cross-national and -cultural exchange and collaboration, strengthen global social work competencies in identifying issues, developing plans, and taking actions, sharing and validating their own experiences while challenging their pre-conceived views, and forging new partnerships.

Delivered in three languages, Spanish, Portuguese, and English, this course will have the potential to reach the majority of social work students and professional around the world!