Contact Us |  

Search form

Valerie Shapiro: Teaching

Current Courses Taught

Valerie Shapiro

SW375 | Fall 2015

Teaching in Social Welfare

SW 375, Teaching in Social Welfare, is designed to assist you in developing a beginning teaching philosophy and apply it to an array of skills and strategies for teaching in social welfare. In this class, teaching will be considered a form of social work practice, guided by the same fundamental principles that guide our professional practice: strength-based, ecologically grounded, evidence-informed, and justice promoting. This course has four broad goals. We will consider the history and evolution of social work education in the context of the professionalization of social work and the higher education system in the United States. We will examine philosophies of university teaching and learning in order to each develop or refine a personal statement of teaching philosophy. We will observe and practice the essential skills of university teaching to gain teaching experience, receive feedback, and form the basis of a teaching portfolio. These skills will include elements of course planning (crafting learning objectives, a syllabus, and assignments), classroom instruction, (public speaking, lecturing, instructional activities, discussion facilitation, using technology, classroom management strategies, addressing student individual differences, and confronting social injustices perpetuated and presenting in the classroom) , and evaluation (of instruction and learning). Finally, this course will provide a consultation space for current Graduate Student Instructors (GSIs) to discuss issues relevant to their current work as educators. Using an interactive format, students will be encouraged to share their own learning and teaching experiences, in order to progress in their development as instructors.

SW241.1 | Fall 2015  

Foundations of Multi-Level Practice

SW 241, Foundations of Multi-Level Practice, is designed to introduce knowledge and skills needed for engagement, assessment, and intervention planning for social work practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities, guided by the principles of strength-based, evidence-informed, ecologically-grounded, and justice promoting practice.

This course aims to help you develop an understanding of the interconnected nature of levels of social work practice (micro, mezzo, macro) based upon two fundamental assumptions: social environments shape human behavior in ways that inform approaches to individual change and individual actions are the essential building blocks for maintaining and changing the environmental context in which we live. You will apply explanatory and practice theories which you are simultaneously learning in SW 200, Theories for Social Work Practice, to rehearse and refine skills for social work practice.

This course will progress through three modules: engagement, assessment, and intervention planning. Each module will focus on building foundation skills at multiple levels of social work practice. The ultimate goal will be to develop a foundation for respectfully and competently engaging in social work practice that aims to understand a case as it presents (assessment) and to select appropriate targets and approaches for clinical and social change (intervention). As we progress through this introductory course, you will begin to observe and apply these skills to actual cases and causes through your assigned Field Placement. Your simultaneous enrollment in Field Seminar is intended to facilitate the application of practice skills to practice environments, consider concentration-specific techniques for engagement and assessment, and develop some important practice behaviors that are not covered deeply in this course (i.e., risk assessment, case transition / termination). This course is also supplemented in the Foundation Curriculum by: (a) SW 280: Research for Social Work Practice (which will deepen your skills for evidence-informed practice), (b) SW 240: Introduction to the Profession of Social Work, and (c) SW 220: Policy for Social Work Practice (which will enhance your understanding of the policy context in which practice occurs and introduce policy change strategies).This course will provide a foundation for you to build upon in your concentration-specific advanced practice course (SW 243 - SW 251, Interventions for Multi-Level Practice) as you subsequently learn strength-based, evidence-informed, ecologically-grounded, and justice promoting interventions in your anticipated area of practice.


SW298.3 | Fall 2015  

Group Study in Prevention Research

SW 298.3, Group Study in Prevention Research, is designed to provide a learning community for early career prevention scientists developing their professional, technical,and methodological skills. Students will receive instruction, mentorship, and consultation as they strive towards programmatic milestones in their degree programs, refine their substantive area of interest in a prevention science framework, and prepare research products (i.e., abstracts, presentations, publications, grants).