New Social Work faculty member advocates for digital justice in and out of the classroom

Norma Love-SchropshireWith COVID-19 spreading to every corner of our nation and schools scrambling to launch new forms of technology-integrated home-based learning, the expansive technology gap and resulting social inequities for many of our nation’s youth have become widely apparent. This is nothing new to Norma Love-Schropshire, DSW. After spending over a decade working in Michigan schools and years studying the effects of technology integration into social work education, Love-Schropshire has seen first-hand the need for digital justice. As the new Wayne State University School of Social Work BSW Program Director and Lecturer, Love-Schropshire is eager to infuse technological advances into the urban learning experience of undergraduate warrior students.

Love-Schropshire joined the School as a part-time faculty member in fall 2012 and went on to obtain her Master of Social Work with a concentration in interpersonal practice with children, youth and families in society from the University of Michigan in 2000 and her Doctor of Social Work in 2020 from the University of St. Thomas. She also earned a Bachelor of Science in Social Work and Certificate in Human Resources from Eastern Michigan University. Love-Schropshire holds a dual macro and clinical license as a master level social work practitioner with the State of Michigan. She practiced for more than eighteen years prior to coming to Wayne State as a case manager, assessment specialist, medical and clinical social worker and school social worker in the Detroit Public Schools among other Michigan public school districts.

For Love-Schropshire, working at Wayne State as the BSW Program Director is her chance to give back to the Detroit Community. “I am a Detroit native, educated in Detroit Public Schools. After earning my MSW, I worked over a decade as a school social worker in DPSCD,” stated Love-Schropshire. “Detroit is home and for me working at Wayne State is like returning home to continue my love of lifelong learning.”

For Love-Schropshire, taking on this new role in the School is an honor and opportunity to advance her digital justice mission and that of the Social Work Grand Challenge to Harness Technology for Social Good. Love-Schropshire plans to integrate the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare’s call to action for social workers to tackle our nation’s toughest problems via 13 Grand Challenges through the broadening of innovative teaching and learning formats including more synchronous courses, experiential and immersive learning experiences, research, and service activities beyond the classroom. Love-Schropshire seeks to meet the needs of the School’s diverse learners in formats that will help prepare them to competently engage in practice with urban organizations and communities with vulnerable populations.

I am devoted to advocating for digital justice, closing cultural and digital divides, and strengthening the social fabric in Detroit. I want our graduates to leave Wayne State having received an urban learning experience infused with curriculum based in social justice and diversity that prepares them to develop a critical consciousness perspective, professional practice behaviors and metacognitive thinking skills. These skills combined with the ability to harness technology as a tool to enhance practice and improve digital literacy, will help advance the social good. - Norma Love-Schropshire

In her role, Love-Schropshire plans to tap into her research findings, which focus on the requisite knowledge, skills, abilities, values, motivators and support that educators can develop to competently integrate instructional technologies into their teaching. The infusion of a discipline-specific technology integration framework into the BSW program will promote the Social Work - TPACK model, a framework for ethical, pedagogical technology integration (Schropshire, 2019). Ultimately, Love-Schropshire hopes to employ her Detroit connections with local community partners, other colleges and student organizations to ensure ethical and effective technology utilization extends beyond just the classroom.

Learn more about Love-Schropshire’s research and experience via her faculty profile.

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