download University of Toronto Faculty of Social Work Academic Plan

Building Innovative Learning
Environments for Practice

Goal: Expand educational collaborations

Social work’s knowledge base intersects with many disciplines (e.g., psychology, psychiatry, sociology, political science, education, business). Collaborative programs similar to those existing with law and addictions are based on the recognition that social work expertise enhances the knowledge and practice of other fields.

Implementing a strategy that results in increased cross-Faculty teaching in subjects of Faculty strength has several benefits including: increasing social work’s profile; strengthening collaborations with other divisions; and fostering knowledge exchange and capacity building with other Faculties.

Expanding educational collaborations across Faculties within the University of Toronto as well as among local and international partners will be facilitated by increasing our use of interactive technology (IT) that can enhance communication possibilities.

Objective: Increase teaching collaborations locally and internationally

  • Initiate additional international collaborative studies to identify approaches in order to educate students and practitioners for effective practice, e.g., the China Project, a collaborative multi-year project to improve social work education, policies and practice both in China and within Chinese communities in Canada
  • Collaborate with community partners to develop and assess additional innovative educational approaches for effective practice, e.g., Buddha’s Light International Association of Toronto initiative
  • Collaborate with a diverse range of communities and develop relationships with marginalized communities in order to respond to their needs through customized educations programs, e.g., training frontline settlement workers in how to ease the transition of newcomers to Canada

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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