Active Learning Lessons, Activities, and Assignments for the Modern Social Work Educator

My book, Active Learning Lessons, Activities, and Assignments for the Modern Social Work Educator has been published!!

I wrote this book to address this main question: How do we train the next generation of social workers in classrooms to impact complexity and evolution in the real world?

It’s not for lack of trying. Social work educators are busy. There are classes to prepare, papers and assignments to grade, student situations and questions to address, emails to answer, meetings to attend, politics both on and off campus to contend with, and endlessly pleading with educational technology to work properly.  They juggle these competing academic responsibilities under constant administrative and financial pressures. COVID-19 is also new to the mix, exacerbating an already volatile situation for educators with new health and child care concerns. In this environment, staying on top of current pedagogical strategies and incorporating them into your class prep can be challenging with any one of these factors flaring up. I am guessing if you pick up this book, you can relate.

This book is designed for you to easily incorporate active learning pedagogy into your courses. It provides you with active learning lesson plans and assignments contributed by social work educators across the country. To make the contributions easy to incorporate into your existing classrooms and syllabi, they are arranged by social work functions and micro and macro practice. Many can also be easily adapted to an online learning environment.

The contribution format is also uniquely structured for you. Each contribution is formatted like a standardized recipe in a cookbook to help you find what you need quickly. Each lesson plan and assignment includes:

  • Bloom’s Taxonomy framework categories
  • Tags
  • Prep time
  • Total time
  • Teaching materials
  • Student materials
  • Learning goals
  • Educator instructions
  • Student handout which includes main points, further reading and resources, and discussion questions
  • Student worksheets (as applicable)

While working on my MSW, a professor mentioned that for every hour of lecture, students would only recall 15 minutes of it. At that moment, I vowed to lecture as little as possible and my quest to discover more impactful pedagogy had begun. As a learner, I wanted to engage with the material in a hands-on way so that I could better apply it in my work with clients. As a social work educator, I wanted to instill this same passion in my students to best prepare them for their careers. I also wanted to inspire other social work educators to incorporate more active learning into their courses.

My sincere hope is that this book helps you help your students, achieve educational outcomes in a new way, and inspire pedagogy both outside the PowerPoint and the classroom.

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