download University of Toronto Faculty of Social Work Academic Plan

Building Innovative Learning
Environments for Practice

Goal: Develop, test, and disseminate innovative educational
methods for social work practice

Objective: Promote and enrich practicum education

The model of practicum education recognizes the primacy of the field instructor and community setting in providing quality practice learning. Inter-organizational relationships emphasize collaboration in education and research, and we support, develop, and recognize the expertise of our field educators.

  • Develop and test a number of community-university teaching/research centres that comprise structured collaborations between the field setting and the Faculty in order to promote practicum education, contributions to teaching in the academic programs, continuing education of staff, and joint research
  • Expand research support to and collaboration with organizations contributing to field education
  • Promote recognition of professional commitment to field education by aligning performance review, appointments, and promotion and staff development opportunities with academic excellence
  • Promote a culture whereby field education of students is considered an organizational and professional priority and source of pride, through profiling exemplary field instructors, students and their organizations (e.g., websites, newsletters, podcasts)
  • Mentor graduates to become field instructors
  • Strengthen the graduate Alumni Association base from which to recruit field instructors

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  • Higher education and social work pedagogy increasingly incorporate theoretical perspectives and empirical findings on education
  • Interest in the use of simulation, new technology and interprofessional education is growing rapidly
  • Education focuses more on competence (how well graduates do in practice) to address growing expectations for accountability expressed by government, employers and the public

© 2011 Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work