SW305 Human Behav in Social Environ I

for FA 2012

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SW 305 Human Behav in Social Environ I


FA 2012 HO


Bachman, Gary E.


Associate Professor & Director of Field Education



Office Location


Office Hours

T/T 9-11AM & 1-3PM, M/W 9:30AM-12 Noon

Daytime Phone

816 584-6504



Semester Dates

August 21- December 07, 2012

Class Days


Class Time

7:20 - 8:35 AM


Conditional or Full Admission to Social Work Major

Credit Hours


Human Behavior and the Social Environment  Micro Level: Individuals and Families 2nd by Katherine van Wormer Oxford University Press 2011 ISBN-978-0-19-974007-9

 The NASW Code of Ethics available online at http://www.socialworkers.org/pubs/code/code.asp

Additional Resources:

Recommended Supplement (this text is required for SW405 “HBSE II” in the spring)

Human Behavior and the Social Environment  Macro Level: Groups, Communities & Organizations  2nd.   by Katherine van Wormer, Fred Besthorn & Thomas Keefe Oxford University Press 2011 

NOTE: The course e-Companion site (www.parkonline.org ) includes required readings under “doc sharing.” The readings are categorized by topical headings. You are asked to prepare for class by reading certain of these articles in addition to the assigned text, prior to the scheduled class discussion.

Supplemental Readings: Copies of these texts will be on reserve in the library: You do NOT need to purchase these.

*Understanding Human Behavior 6th Edition Zastrow, C.H., &Kirst-Ashman, K.K. 2004 Brooks/Cole     ISBN 0-534-60831-0

*Contemporary Human Behavior Theory Second Edition Robbins,S.P., Chatterjee,P.& Canda, E.R. 2006   Pearson Education, Inc. ISBN 0-205-40816-0

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Course Description:
SW305 Human Behavior in the Social Environment I: This course examines the interplay of biological, psychological, social and cultural factors which influence human behavior and human development through the life cycle. This course, which is the first in a sequence of two courses, focuses on the period of infancy to young adulthood. Attention is given to the impact of social and economic deprivation on human development. 3:0:3 Prerequisite: full or conditional admission into the social Work Major  The ten core competencies as set forth in the 2008 Educational Policy & Accreditation Standards of the CSWE Commission on Accreditation are infused throughout this course. Particular attention will be focused upon behaviors that demonstrate practice competencies:
  2.1.7 application of knowledge regarding Human Behavior in the Social Environment  and
  2.1.9 responding to the contexts that shape our professional practice.

Educational Philosophy:

 Social work as a profession emerged in response to the many challenges, inequalities and threats to societies and the world’s most vulnerable populations. The demographic of those populations is constantly evolving, as is the nature of challenges that increasingly confront us all. 
It is vitally important that social work professionals be prepared to efficiently and critically consider their environment in order to identify, strategize, and communicate an appropriate response to the matters before them. This is as true in business, science, education and government service as it is in social work. 
It is the intent of the faculty in the Department of Social Work to facilitate learners in the acquisition of such knowledge as will serve them, their families and their communities, throughout their lives. Through the semester, world and local events will occur which may influence our academic, personal, or professional pursuits. In light of such circumstances, the instructor reserves the right to amend the schedule of study. 

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Discuss interactions among the biological, social, psychological, and culturally diverse systems from conception through mid-adult life.
  2. Compare and contrast theories of human development and behavior from conception through mid-adult life.
  3. Recognize and interpret contributions of research to the current and evolving knowledge of human behavior in the social environment.
  4. Describe the dynamics of oppression, discrimination and social economic injustice on and transmitted through organizations, communities, social institutions, society and the world at large.
  5. Demonstrate an understanding of the influence of personal, professional values and ethics on professional practice and the potential of value conflicts.

  Instructor Learning Outcomes
  1. NOTE: A particular focus in this course will be upon the attainment of competencies 2.1-10 described in the CSWE – Accreditation Standards. Those competencies -referenced here by number- are detailed in the document titled CSWE –EPAS available on the on the course e-companion “doc-share file. http://www.parkonline.org/ Competencies are referenced to each objective.
  2. 1. From a strengths perspective, identify a range of human behavior theories that are useful in understanding, why people do what they do. (2.1.7)
  3. 2. Critically compare, contrast, and relate theories of human behavior across the lifespan. (2.1.7)
  4. 3. Recognize the role of the ecosystems theory in describing human behavior in the social environment. (2.1.7 & 2.1.9)
  5. 4. Recognize and interpret contributions of research to the current and evolving knowledge of human behavior in the social environment. (2.1.6 & 2.1.10)
  6. 5. Describe the dynamics of oppression & discrimination as well as social economic injustice upon human behavior and interaction. (2.1.4 & 2.1.5)
  7. 6. Demonstrate an understanding of the influence of personal, professional values and ethics on professional practice and the potential of value conflicts. (2.1.2)
  8. 7. Drawing upon an attention to strengths: identification and application of human behavioral theories in addressing matters of social and interpersonal needs. (2.1.1 & 2.1.3,2.1.10)
Core Assessment:
  • Exams (LO 1-6)
  • Ecomap (LO 1,2,4,5) 
  • Family Resilience Paper (LO 1,2,4,5)
  • Observation Paper (LO 1-5)
  • Group Presentation (LO 1)
  • Web Research Paper (LO 3,5)
  • Core Assessment: Personal Learning Plan: Portfolio Assignment (LO 3,5)

Class Assessment:

Further details on the following assignments will be distributed in class and posted on the e-Companion web site. The assignments of this course are designed to develop specific competencies. CO refers to course objectives met, noted in parenthesis.

CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF THEORY (20points) CO 1-6      The “Critical Analysis” form at the end of this syllabus is to be used for this assignment. It may also be downloaded from the course e-Companion web-site. A total of 9 review forms are to be completed and posted to the e-companion site by the date noted. There will be no grade assigned to these individual weekly assignments. You will obtain full credit if the forms are each appropriately completed and posted on time. The forms are structured to promote learning and as a means to help you prepare and participate in class as we discuss each concept. Class discussion will be based upon items on this review: “strengths,” “biological, psychological & spiritual influences,” “social, cultural, & economic influences,” “relevance to understanding social relationships,””consistence with professional ethics,” “empirical validation,” and relevance to particular practice environments.

 (Nine = Cognitive, Ecosystems, Empowerment,  Biological Factors (general - physical & cognitive conditions,  addictions, mental disorders) Developmental, Life-span & Attachment)

In class exercises: (20points cumulative) (CO 1-6) Through-out the semester, a series of five short exercises will be conducted. Most will be completed in class although some may be sent home with you to be completed in preparation for discussion in the following class session. Each exercise completed will be worth 4 points of the overall grade up a total of 20 points. You must be present both when the assignment is distributed and discussed in order to receive credit. 

PERSONAL ESSAY (40 points) (CO 1,2,5 & 6) Assignment #1    My Behavior / My Environment: A Reflective Basis for Examining Human Behavior.   Due: Thursday Sept. 11 (not to exceed 8 pages)              

Who Are You? What factors (biology, psychology, social, & spiritual) have and continue to influence your “world view?” What events and circumstances have shaped you into the person you are today?

·   What sources of information have been the most influential in the development of your beliefs/attitudes? Oftentimes, our beliefs and attitudes develop subtly and over time, without us being aware that this is occurring. We even have beliefs and attitudes about things we may never have encountered personally in our lives. So, what influences helped you develop your beliefs and attitudes? A person? Organization? Most of us can identify a variety of influences if we think about it. Select and clearly describe (at least three) key influences.

·   Analyze how each of these factors influenced the way you presently view the world.

·   Are there significant influences in your life that you have chosen to reject or sought to change?

·   What role has your “biology” played in determining who you are? What of your behavior do you think is innately you?

·   Are there places where you as an individual and you as a social worker collide? How do you resolve these conflicts?

·   Consider and describe your personal theory about social behavior and the ability of individuals to affect change upon society?

Five (e-Companion) REFLECTION NOTES (4 pts each=20 points) (CO 1-6 )  

The reflection is to be in response to your choice of any assigned readings. (from the primary or supportive texts, or from the articles posted under “doc. share.”) You may choose to respond to a particular chapter or essay, to one particular excerpt from the text, or an entire piece that you found especially intriguing / helpful / confusing / problematic, etc. You may respond to any combination of the readings, but three of the notes must reference at least  one of the supplemental readings posted to the doc share file. Two of the notes reflect upon sources you choose from the public media.  

In each of the Reflection notes, you are asked to address three components:

1. The title and location of the referenced reading. (include  hyperlinks or PDF copies of outside sources)

2. Your thoughts as an individual and as a social work student regarding the issue(s) or topic.

3. At least one specific example from your field placement, employment, or volunteer work, or life experience that demonstrates an understanding of the relevance of the reading to practice.

Although I will monitor these posting throughout the semester, I will also consider your postings as a whole reflection of your emerging grasp of human behavior theory. Therefore, the depth and range of your responses should demonstrate some evolution of understanding. By the end of the course, I want to have “discovered” that you:

·         demonstrated clear engagement with the theoretical concepts

·         made comments or offered questions that were thoughtful, creative, or

·         otherwise indicative that you are processing the assigned written and content in some mindful and meaningful ways

·         “connected” the assigned texts to the field of social work

RESEARCH PAPER (CO 1-6)  (60points-paper /10points- Topic Proposal) - Core Assessment Assignment The outline and a model for this assignment will be posted on the e-Companion web site. A one page Outline / topic proposal will be due on 10/11. The final paper is due 12/04.

 GROUP PROJECT (FINAL) (50 points) Oral Presentations and Group Report due 12/08/09

At the conclusion of the course, we will spend time reflecting on what we have discussed throughout the semester. This process will be in lieu of a final examination. In order to accomplish this task, groups will take turns presenting their observations and insights to the rest of the class, during the time established for a final exam. You are to form work groups of your own choosing (four to six members per group; no more, no less).   Each group will be responsible for selecting one commonly agreed upon film from the last 20 years through which they will reflect upon various human behavior theories, and in particular phases of human development across the life-span. Each group will have its “own” film. Assessment will be based upon both an oral and written examination of the film: that reflects the individual as well as the groups’ perspective in a collaborative “social environment. “

Using a professional social work frame of reference as well as a strengths-based orientation, you are to incorporate theoretical ideas/material to examine (collectively, as a group) the film, and identify how the film “helps” (or does not “help”) viewers to think through societal perceptions of lifespan development. 
Each group will need to inform me, in writing, of the members of the group and the film that is being selected by November 6th . Each group must select a different film to review.

Through the final weeks of the course, each group will present their review and findings before the entire class. The group’s time should be divided equally among all group members (each group member is required to utilize her/his/their “full” five minutes of allotted time). The group is responsible for keeping track of time in whatever way the members choose. The group is also responsible for supporting and assisting each member in honoring the time allotment.   Your group will also be responsible for preparing a written analysis of the film, in which every group member’s viewpoint is incorporated. Each of the group members will be expected to contribute two pages to the “write-up.”

You are encouraged to watch and discuss your chosen film as a group, at a time and place to be determined by all of the group members. You will also need, collectively, to come up with a “solid” plan or strategy for your group oral presentation and your group “write-up.” You have a fair amount of latitude, here, and an opportunity to have fun and be creative while getting the “job” done. 

The grading structure is as follows: 7 points of the oral presentation will be assessed on a group basis, and 3 points will be assessed on an individual basis. 7 points of the group “write-up” will be assessed on an individual basis, and 3 points will be assessed on a group basis. Strong, consistent collaboration is the “key,” here. In order for each individual to receive full credit for their involvement in the oral presentation,

It will need to be very clear to me (and to your classmates to whom you will be presenting) that each person in the group took an active role in making the group presentation a success.

While each individual member in the “write-up” is responsible for their own work, the overall structure of the written product must be cohesive; it needs to “hang together,” and thereby illustrate a thoughtful, collaborative approach to the project, even when there may be differences. Each authors’ contribution should also be identified in some manner in the paper.
 Attendance and Participation.  (10 pts) This is a professional preparatory course.  Issues relevant to professional practice and professional development will regularly be addressed. (CO1-6) Your presence and active involvement is  critical to creating the most effective learning atmosphere for yourself as well as your peers. You will be expected to demonstrate listening skills, attentiveness, respect, professional dialogue, and compassion with and for your colleagues as you would display when working with a service participant. You are allowed two unexcused absences without point penalty. For each absence beyond this two (2) points will be deducted from your class participation grade. If you miss 5 classes you will receive 0 points for class participation.


Every effort will be made to be fair and reasonable in grading your work and participation. If you have questions or concerns about this, please speak to the instructor in a timely manner. This course is part of a professional sequence, leading to a professional degree. You are expected to behave professionally. That includes being prepared for and attending class on a consistent basis. You are expected to present work that is legible and well considered. Assessment in this course relies heavily upon the evaluation of your written material.                                                                                                                       As the instructor, I have the prerogative to ask a student to re-write a paper and then submit the paper again for grading. Usually, in the case that I return a paper to be re-written the paper has the information or content, but is poorly written. Written assignments are your way of communicating new knowledge, integration of information and learning, etc. When a paper is poorly written, I have a difficult time evaluating your learning. The intent and purpose of asking students to re-write a paper is so that they can incorporate my feedback and make improvements in the paper. In the event that I ask a student to re-write a paper, the new grade will never be higher than a “B”, or lower than the previous grade. You are encouraged to rely upon the “Guidelines for Writing Papers “ noted below.
The Critical Analysis Papers: 20 points In class exercises: 20 points (cumulative) Personal Essay: 40 points,   Reflection Notes: 20 points   Research Paper: 60 points   Final: 50 points   Attendance and Participation   10 points   


       Scoring:     A= 200-180    B= 179-160    C= 159-140    D= 139-120    F= 119-

Late Submission of Course Materials:
Assignments are due at the beginning of the class on the date indicated. In the event of an absence, assignments remain due and may be submitted to the instructor electronically. The student remains responsible for lost, misdirected or incompatible formatting of electronic submissions. In extenuating circumstances (as determined by the instructor) and with timely notification an exception may or may not be granted. Assignments not submitted on time will receive a deduction of 10% of the possible score per day. If you have a question about any assignment or expectation in this course, please contact the instructor in a timely manner. Please be aware that there is no extra credit work in this course.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
Classroom Rules of Conduct: In order to maintain a positive learning environment the following ground rules will be followed:

1.      Personal perspectives will be valued. Degrading or discriminatory remarks or behaviors are not acceptable.

2.      Discussion will reflect an exchange of information, experiences, ideas, and opinions that have an educational value.

3.      If you work in groups, it is the responsibility of the group members to delegate work. All members of a group must present on the project and all will receive the same grade.

4.      Because of our sensitive subject matter, courtesy needs to be maintained in the classroom at all times. Students need to arrive on time. Students will not hold private conversations when another person is speaking. Students will speak one at a time.

5.      If student’s behavior in the classroom is disruptive, the instructor will allow the student an opportunity to correct the behavior without consequences. If the student’s behavior continues to be disruptive, that student may be asked to leave the classroom and will be referred to the Office of Academic Affairs.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:





SW 305 Course Schedule:    Topic and Readings


Aug. 21



Aug. 23



Course Introduction - review syllabus & assignments: Establishing a “strengths based” focus for the theoretical examination of Human Behavior in the Social Environment and the discovery of “Why people do what they do.”

*The application of Critical Thinking and Theoretical Analysis.(As opposed to just doing analysis and only being critical.) Considering concepts of equifinity & multifinity.    * The NASW Code of Ethics as a tool for the interpretation and application of theories of Human Behavior.


Aug. 28


 Aug. 30


Read: Intro & *Preface to Macro Text    (*available as a PDF file in e- readings)   *Recognizing both extrinsic as well as intrinsic influences upon human behavior and the formulation of practice competencies.

Ch 1. “Psychodynamic Theory” (1st Reflection Note due.)


Sept. 4






Ch 1.  Cognitive theory (CA due*) (*“Critical Analysis of Theory” The full description of this assignment is under course assessment. Come prepared for class discussion of the particular theory based upon items on this review: “strengths,””biologigal, psychological & spiritual influences,” “social, cultural, & economic enfluences,””relevance to understanding social relationships,””consistence with professional ethics,””empirical validation,” and relevance to particular practice environments.

Ch 1. : Ecosystems theory (CA due*)


Sept. 11

Sept. 13

Ch 1. Empowerment theory (CA due)

The strengths perspective&theories of Human Behavior. e- readings

 Personal Essay due 9/13                                                    


Sept. 18

Sept. 20

Ch 2.  Biological Factors in Human Behavior; Genetics, “nature v. nurture,” measures of intelligence, gender identity, sexual orientation, the influence of physical capacity.(CA due9/18. &  2nd reflection note due 9/20)

 e- readings


Sept. 25

Sept. 27

Ch 2. Biological Factors & The influence or diagnosis “mental disorders:”ADHD, addictions, schizophrenia, OCD, Bi-Polar, Anorexia, Dementias….(CA due*)   e- readings           


Oct. 2

Oct. 4

Ch. 3 The Psychology of Human Behavior (in the social environement: Developmental Theory, Life-Span Theory (CA due*)


Oct. 9

Oct. 11

Ch. 3 The Psych. of Human Behavior:   moral development, faith development & Social Identity, e- readings,  (CA due*) Topics for Research Paper are Due 10/11;           

fall recess Oct. 13 - 21 no class


 Oct. 23

 Oct. 25

Ch. 3 The Psych. of Human Behavior: Feelings & Intimate Behavior   -   Intimate and domestic violence e- readings (3rd relection note due)

Ch. 3 The Psych. of Human Behavior: War & Trauma e- readings


Oct. 30

Nov.  1

Ch. 4 Birth through Adolescence Birth-2 yrs, Attachment Theory (CA due*)& Brain Development        Ch. 4: Age 2-12 years     


Nov. 6

Nov. 8

Ch. 4   Adolescence:   e- readings (Primary Election Day-GOTV)

Ch.5 Early Adulthood through Middle Age “generativity v. stagnation”(group presentation names and subjects turned in: 5 points) 


 Nov. 13

 Nov. 15

Ch 6. Late-Middle Age through End of Life Intimacy vs. Isolation            

e- readings    Ch 6. Late-Middle Age through End of Life Ego Identity verses despair  e- readings (4th reflection Note due)       


 Nov. 20

 Nov. 22

Ch 6. Late-Middle Age through End of Life “the natural end of lifee- readings

THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY (An ideal opportunities to observe and try to understand human behavior!)     


Nov.  27

 Nov. 29

Ch. 7 The Individual in the Family   Families as Systems e- readings   (5th Reflection Note due)       

Ch. 7 Family: The foundation for socialization and relationships.


 Dec. 4


 Dec.  6

 Reflecting upon the critical application of theories of human across the life span. - Ethical practice and the integration of theories in diverse practice environments.     (Research Paper Due 12/4)

Last day of class: (Group Presentations begin)  

Finals Week

Dec. 11

Final Exam (Group Presentations) 8AM-10AM



Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life. Park University students and faculty members are encouraged to take advantage of the University resources available for learning about academic honesty (www.park.edu/current or http://www.park.edu/faculty/).from Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95-96
As a students enrolled in this professional course, you should make every effort to become familiar with the NASW Code of Ethics as you are accountable to these standrds. Academic dishonesty represents a violation of that professional code.

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. from Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95
Plagerism also represents a violation of ethical principles described in the NASW Code of Ethics.

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 98
This is a professional level course. Regular classroom attendance is both expected and essential for the attainment of course objectives. Material not found in the text will be presented and discussed in class.  Absences detract from your learning as well as that of others.

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: http://www.park.edu/disability .

Critical Analysis of Theory Form

Core Competencies & Generalist Practice

Critical Analysis of Theory Form

Generalist Competencies in SW

Writing Guidelines


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Last Updated:8/16/2012 11:38:36 AM