January is an exciting month in many ways. The start of a new calendar year and, for many of us, the start of a new term. Not all of us in education throughout the world are on the same calendar, however. I just returned from representing Canada at the board meetings of the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW). For some of us, like me, we were missing the first week of classes in a new term. Most others were in various places in their school years, ranging from summer break to midterm. Despite the variations in timing, everyone at the meeting shares a passion for social work education.
The IASSW meeting took place in Japan. What an amazing country! We toured some social work related services for elders and with Japan having one of the most aged populations in the world, care for seniors is one of the greatest priorities for social work education and practice. We were all interested to learn that Japan has recently decided to open its doors to more workers from other countries. We had many discussions about how the various countries we represented welcomed newcomers. It will be interesting to watch Japan do so as it has implications for their education of social workers.
For many, January is also a time of renewal – a time to make resolutions, review and adjust our priorities, and renew and revise our commitments. As I return to the new term this year, my travels and exposure to international social work educators have renewed my passion for social work education and my commitment to contributing to the movement toward social justice in my community, nationally, and globally.
Looking forward to seeing you at the CASWE-ACFTS 2019 Conference where some of these ideas (and a whole lot more) will be explored.
Susan Cadell, PhD