National Teaching Fellow 2014
Dr Joe Duffy is committed to achieving the genuine, meaningful and non-tokenistic involvement of service users and carers in social work education. His teaching is mainly in the area of Law for Social Workers and he coordinates the Service User and Carer Group which contributes to teaching across all aspects of the social work curriculum in Queen’s University Belfast’s School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work.
The themes of citizenship, user involvement and social inclusion inform much of his research activity and underpin the current preparations for his PhD. He has developed good practice guidance in the involvement of service users and carers for both undergraduate and post-qualifying social work education in Northern Ireland and has developed a specialist course to support service users and carers in their role as social work educators.
Committed to transformative and progressive pedagogy, Joe is particularly interested in the contribution that service users and carers can make to help inform social work students about the impact of political conflict. He has published papers in this area, presented at international conferences and worked with an international team of academics on an International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW) funded project aimed at developing an international social work curriculum on political conflict. A further innovative aspect of Joe’s approach to teaching has been the partnerships he has forged with service user and carer groups, contributing as communities of learning, in teaching threshold concepts to social work students. This approach has also been used in an international context.
In 2013, Joe led an international team of academics from Slovenia and Spain in the production of a short IASSW-funded DVD entitled ‘International messages on service user and carer involvement’, which examines service user and carer perspectives on key aspects of social work knowledge, skills and values. This film was launched at the European Network for Social Action (ENSACT) European Social Work conference in Istanbul in April, 2013 and is widely used as an international social work education teaching resource.