SW405 Human Behavior & Social Envir.II

for SP 2013

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SW 405 Human Behavior & Social Envir.II


SP 2013 HO


Bachman, Gary E.


Associate Professor



Office Location


Office Hours

Tues & Thursday: 9:00-10:00 & 1:00 -3:45, Weds. 9-12

Daytime Phone

(816) 584-6504

Class Days


Class Time

11:35 - 12:50 PM

Credit Hours



Human Behavior and the Social Environment  Macro Level: Groups, Communities & Organizations 2nd Edition   by Katherine van Wormer, Fred Besthorn & Thomas Keefe Oxford University Press 2010  ISBN 978-0-19-974057-4    

Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Work 1996 (available on-line at http://www.socialworkers.org/pubs/code/default.asp   

Additional Resources:

*Supplemental texts: Copies of these supplemental texts will be on reserve in the library. (NOTE: You are not expected to purchase these supplemental texts.)

Human Behavior and the Social Environment Micro Level: Individuals and Families   by Katherine van Wormer Oxford University Press 2007 ISBN-13 978-0-19-518756-4 (Note: The “Micro Level” text is the primary text for HBSE 1 / SW305. For those students who have not taken SW305, this text may be a valuable asset.)

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

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

* NOTE: The course website (www.parkonline.org) includes required readings under “doc sharing. ” The readings are listed in categories. Each student is expected to prepare for class by reading each paper in the category prior to the scheduled class discussion. (note the course schedule of topics)

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Course Description:
SW405 Human Behavior and Social Environment II: This is the second sequential course which examines on the interplay of biological, psychological, social and cultural factors which influence human behavior and human development through the life cycle. An understanding of these influences provides a foundation from which to better understand and work with a diversity of clients. This course focuses on the period of middle adulthood to old age.3:0:3 Prerequisites: SW305 and Social Work Pre-major or Major.

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 human behavior in the social environment in order to identify, strategize, and communicate an appropriate response to the matters before them. 

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 throughout the life cycle.
  2. Understand and appropriately apply theories of human development and behavior relevant from mid-adult life through the end of life.
  3. Recognize and interpret contributions of research to the current and evolving knowledge of human behavior in the social environment.
  4. Recognize and describe the dynamics and impact of human oppression, discrimination and social and 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.

Core Assessment:
  • Exams (LO 1-5)
  • Term Paper (LO 1-5)
  • Reflection Paper (LO 1-5)
  • Spirituality Paper (LO 1,3-5)
  • Group Presentation (LO 1,5)
  • Web Research Paper (LO 3)
  • Core Assessment: Portfolio Assignment (LO 4,5)

Class Assessment:


Assignment #1 Due:   Thursday Jan. 31 (not to exceed 4 pages)     ( 20 points-)      

Construct an ecomap of Macro influences presented in the film “Big Mama.” (shown in class on 1/29) Then, briefly identify & describe at least 5 separate organization structures and how they impacted people in this film.

 Assignment # 2    Facilitated Class Discussion / Macro Assessment  NOTE: Presentations are scheduled

    Grp One: Feb. 7; Grp Two: Feb. 14;    Grp Three: Feb. 21;    and Grp Four: Feb. 28;   Grp 5: March 5       

(40 points ) Students will be randomly assigned to groups of 3 or 4. Each group will be presented with a realistic “scenario” upon which they will collaborate to draft a comprehensive macro assessment and facilitate a class discussion exploring  strategies for intervention & utilization of community resources appropriate to the circumstance. Complete instructions for this assignment will be distributed with the scenarios.

NOTE: Assignment # 3,  is arranged in 3 parts (A, B, & C). Each is due and graded separately.   Select a particular population that you will focus upon to examine & explore macro influences and resources. 


Assignment # 3A   Observation and reflection of a life span segment.     Due March 19  (30 points)      

Choose a segment of the life span that interests you but about which you have had limited or no prolonged experience. Use the following “life span” groupings.

·                     childhood (3 years through about 11 years),

·                     adolescence (12 years through about 18 years),

·                     middle adulthood (40 -something- years through about 64 years),

·                     older adulthood (65 +/- years and older).

Create at least two separate opportunities to observe and (to a lesser degree)interact with a group of people who are in the age group you select. Spend at least 90 minutes observing behaviors and interactions of members of this population group. (Observations may occur in one or multiple sittings. In research methods we call this participant observation.) You are encouraged to create some opportunity to interact with members of this group. (Methods of interaction may vary from structured interview, to informal conversation that may accompany game playing. Remember the focus is upon “human behavior in the social environment.”)

Compose a paper (no longer than four pages) in which you:

·         Describe the group you observed and interacted with in terms of: age(s), ethnicities, sexual /gender

       orientations, social classes, and other factors you may identify.

·         Describe the environment in which this observation took place. Is the gathering ‘formal’ or

       “informal?” What are the circumstances that form this grouping?

·         Describe your experience of being with this group and one new thing you learned about people of

       this demographic group.    Describe one thing you learned about yourself.

·         Describe your impressions of this age group in terms of what individuals do and say to express themselves and how they interact within the group and with others outside of the group.

·         Identify and describe macro structures (issues or systems) that commonly influence this population.

       Be sure to describe any evidence you observed of those structures.

·         Identify one likely social work role (employment opportunity) and practice function related to this

        particular population.

Assignment # 3B  Due March 28 ( 20 points )      Prepare an annotated bibliography identifying and describing professional practices and resources related to the demographic group identified in assignment 3A..  This assignment must be no longer than 3 pages and is to be submitted as an attachment, by e-mail to the instructor. gary.bachman@park.edu . Upon review by the instructor, this collection of reference material will be shared with the rest of the class via doc-share.  This annotated bibliography must describe

  • At least three (4) scholarly articles* from professional social work publications. (* A comprehensive list of scholarly journals is posted on the e-Companion “doc-share” file.)
  • At least two (2)“web based” resources (discussion boards, blogs, or organizations that address the life span segment you chose.) Be sure to include a hyperlink to the web resource.
  • Identify and briefly describe three agencies or programs in the metropolitan Kansas City area that serve this population. (Be sure to include contact information. Inclusion of hyperlinks to the agency or program website is encouraged)

Assignment # 3C (no longer than 3 pages ( 20 points )     Due: April 04

Integrating observations, experiences, and the professional literature: Based on your observations and interactions from part A and your readings from Part B, describe what you feel are five of the most significant issues facing the population you chose. Describe at least one example of how you see that the social work profession may better respond to or serve this particular population. 


Assignment # 4   ( 20 points )       You will need to attend and conduct a written analysis of a formal or structured  community group event. Typical group meetings would include city or county commissions meetings, agency - board of directors meetings, school boards, “self help” and public or professional forums (typically) sponsored by elected representatives, political, governmental, organizational, faith based or advocacy groups. This assignment may be turned in at any time during the semester but is due no later than April 23.

Assignment #5 (10 points)   Social justice is one of the core values on which our profession is based. “Social workers promote social justice and social change with and on behalf of clients” (NASW Code of Ethics). One way of addressing this value is to speak out about issues that affect service participants, the larger society, our agencies and the profession. A letter to an elected or appointed official about a social policy issue can be powerful and effective.   Your assignment is to write and send an original letter to an elected or appointed official (city, county, state, or federal) on a social policy or practice issue that is important to you. Tips on effective letter writing strategies and structures will be included in the e-companion doc share file under the label “tools.” (The NASW website http://www.socialworkers.org/ is a valuable source of information on key legislation affecting the populations we most commonly work with as well as the profession.) This assignment may be completed at any time through the semester but must be submitted by 4/23.

Assignment #6 ( 30 points ) Due 4/30.     Some in this class will be graduating at the end of the semester and entering the profession. Others are preparing to enter their senior year and field internships    In HBSE 1 you were (or will be) asked to reflect upon who you are and what circumstances helped form who and how you are. In other words, how has the social environment formed you. For this assignment, you are to prepare a personal essay that explores the other side of the equation: 1) How have you already influenced the social environment? 2) And how do you expect to influence the social environment in the future?   What do you see as your place in this profession? In the community? Or perhaps in your classes or in church or in your family?    This paper does not have a minimum or maximum length, but I am expecting you to demonstrate some clear self-reflection and insight into who you are as a social worker.

There will be a mid term exam (worth 10 points ) administered in the testing center on March 22. It will be entirely multiple-choice and will reflect the form of questions that will be found on BSW licensure exams.

Extra Credit: Publish a Letter to the Editor in a Newspaper

Another way of trying to affect opinion is to have a letter to the editor published in your local newspaper. Choose an issue of interest to you related to social work or social welfare policy. Write a letter to your local newspaper, following their guidelines for being printed. This assignment is complete only when a letter of yours is printed in the newspaper. IT MUST BE PUBLISJHED BEFORE noon on Monday of the 16th week of class!!! You must bring, fax or otherwise provide evidence to me of a letter printed in the paper. At that point, you will receive 20 extra points. YOU MAY RECEIVE CREDIT ONLY ONCE FOR A TOTAL OF 50 POINTS. Remember, your friends, relatives and countless strangers will be reading this, so make sure it is a quality product.


Points  for each assignment are noted with the description of the assignment.  there are a total of 200 points possible.
180+ points = A  179-160 points=B    159-140 points=C   139-120 points =D

Every effort will be made to be fair and reasonable in grading your work and participation. A “C” grade in this course is the minimum grade required for graduation with the BSW degree. 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, attending and contributing in 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. You are encouraged to rely upon the “Guidelines for Writing Papers “noted below.

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 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 are subject to 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. 

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

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

  • Personal perspectives will be respected. Degrading or discriminatory remarks or behaviors are not acceptable.
  • Discussion will reflect an exchange of information, experiences, ideas, and opinions that have an educational value.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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:




Topics & readings


J   Jan. 15

J   Jan. 17

    Review Syllabi & Course Requirements Read / & be prepared to discuss: HBSE /

    Macro Text, Preface p. vii – xii    

Read / & be prepared to discuss: Ch. 1 “Theoretical Perspectives”


J   Jan. 22 -24

    Read / & be prepared to discuss: (Ch. 1) Conflict theory, structural functionalism &

    symbolic interaction.


J    Jan. 29

 Jan. 31

(Jan 30-31)

     View movie: “Big Mama” in class    

 Assignment #1 Due  Completed assignment will be basis for class discussion.

National Homeless “Point in Time Count” & vulnerability survey (training provided)


     Feb. 05

  Feb. 07

   (Ch. 1 continued) Feminist theory, empowerment & anti-oppressive perspectives 

    Macro Assessment : Facilitated Class Discussion (Group 1)


     Feb. 12

     FEB. 13 

     Feb. 14

     Read / & be prepared to discuss:   Ch 2: The Social Psychology of Group Behavior

Missouri NASW  Legislative Action Day in Jefferson City

Macro Assessment : Facilitated Class discussion (Group 2)


     Feb. 19

 Feb. 21

Ch 2(cont.): Social Psych. of Grp Behavior & Ch 3 The Small Group as a Social System

Facilitated Class Discussion(Group 3)


     Feb. 26

 Tues. Feb.26

 Feb. 28

Ch. 3  The Small Group as a Social System (common groups encountered in practice)

Missouri Assoc. of Social Welfare: Legislative Advocacy Day in Jeff. City NOT NASW

    Macro Assessment : Facilitated Class Discussion (Group 4)                                  


    Mar. 05

Wed. March 2

Mar. 07

    Macro Assessment : Facilitated Class Discussion (Group 5)

Kansas NASW Legislative Action Day @ Washburn University in Topeka

Mid Term Exam (in the testing center)

spring break 3/09-17





The Assoc. of Baccalaureate S. W. Program Directors, Myrtle Beach S.C. 

Missouri NASW Symposium, Lake Ozark, Mo.



 Read & be prepared to discuss:   Ch. 4 Families in Society:   Macro issues related         to family composition and well-being.  Assignment #3A Due3/19 


    Mar. 26

 Mar. 28

Read & be prepared to discuss:   Ch. 5 Culture & Society

Assignment #3B Due 


     Apr. 2

 Apr. 4

 Read & be prepared to discuss:   Ch. 6 Community & Community Development

Assignment #3C Due 


    Apr. 09-11

 Read & be prepared to discuss:   Ch. 7  “Human Behavior in the ORGANIZATIONAL Environment.”  


    Apr. 16-18

Fri. Apr. 19

Read & be prepared to discuss Ch. 8  Human Behavior in the Natural Environment

    The Senior Field Coloquium 8:30-am -1pm. (seniors are required to attend) 


Apr. 23-25

   Read / & prepare to discuss Ch. 9 Human Behavior in the Religious and Spiritual

   Environment.    Assignment #5 Due  by 4/25



       May 1


    Assignment #6 Due by 4/30   Discussion of the professional “use of self” and

    emerging macro dynamics related to the social environment.

Last Day of Class: Wrapping it all up and moving on.


 May 7

 May 11

Final exam: 10:15AM – 12:15PM 

Commencement / Graduation

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

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

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

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 .


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Last Updated:1/9/2013 11:48:36 AM