Promoting social justice, human rights

Mark Mattaini

“Nonviolent struggle is at least twice as effective as violent insurgencies,” says Mark Mattaini. Photo: Roberta Dupuis-Devlin/UIC Photo Services

The Award for Excellence in Teaching, a $5,000 salary increase, is UIC’s only peer-selected teaching award. Winners are chosen by those who received the award in past years.

Through research and teaching, Mark Mattaini has devoted his career to furthering the cause of social justice and human rights.

In his latest work, he is using behavioral systems analysis to study the effectiveness of nonviolent social action and civil resistance.

“Very recent research demonstrates that nonviolent struggle is at least twice as effective as violent insurgencies and liberation efforts, but rigorous scholarship underpinning effective models of nonviolent action has been extremely limited,” says Mattaini, associate professor of social work.

There are a number of new emphases that he is exploring in his teaching, he says.

“We have a number of doctoral students in our program from the Middle East and Africa who are going to be important to the development of culturally coherent, indigenous models of social work and social work education in their own countries and regions,” Mattaini says.

He is supporting their efforts to challenge the widespread movement to bring methods and values of social work “from the West to the rest,” and nurture emerging local models.

Mattaini is a faculty affiliate of the UIC Interdisciplinary Center for Research on Violence.

His work in social services, which began in 1971, includes residential treatment, juvenile corrections, addictions, marriage and family counseling, developmental disabilities, mental health and policy development, with a focus on practice with American Indian and Alaska Native populations.

Since joining the Jane Addams College of Social Work in 1999, he has taught 11 different graduate-level courses.

He is the author or co-editor of 11 books, an e-book and more than 80 articles and chapters. His latest, The Science of Satyagraha: Strategic Nonviolent Power, is being published by Athabasca University Press.

In addition to this work, Mattaini continues to test and refine Peace Power, a violence prevention strategy he developed for schools and communities.

Students and colleagues call Mattaini “a creative and innovative teacher, incorporating a variety of methods to engage students in the learning process.”

“I feel blessed to have the opportunity in teaching to encourage the next generation to continue crucial work for social justice, human rights, sustainability and liberation,” he says.

Other Award for Excellence in Teaching winners

Recruiting teachers to high-need schools: Carole Mitchener

A hands-on approach to learning: Michael J. Scott, engineering

Raising the bar for ‘dream’ students: Luigi Salerni

Print Friendly, PDF & Email