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Application: SAGE/CSWE 2015 Award for Innovative Teaching in Social Work Education

Now Open: Online Application for 2015 Award Cycle
Submission Receipt Deadline was 11:59 pm (USA ET) on Wednesday, July 8, 2015

A. Overview

The annual SAGE/CSWE Award for Innovative Teaching in Social Work Education is presented by SAGE, working in collaboration with the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). This award was established in February 2012 to honor and recognize innovative teaching in social work education. The award's purpose is to

  • promote innovative teaching in social work by highlighting it as it emerges, and
  • recognize the individuals who have played significant roles in bringing it about.

Two recipients (or teams) will be recognized each year. Learn more about the previous recipients of these awards at SAGE/CSWE 2013 Award for Innovative Teaching and SAGE/CSWE 2014 Award for Innovative Teaching.

For the 2015 award cycle, applications must be submitted online at SAGE/CSWE 2015 Award; a completed application form (MS Word) and submitter vita must be uploaded as part of the submission process.

B. Applicants

Any individuals currently engaged in social work education at the undergraduate, graduate, and/or continuing professional education levels may apply. The awards are intended to recognize individuals, working alone or in concert, in social work or interdisciplinary and interprofessional where social work is present in those settings.

C. Thematic Foci

The three themes identified for the 2015 awards follow. Applicants will be required to select one of them during the online application submission process.

  1. Educating Social Work Students for International Practice: The combination of economic globalization, technological advances, and the transmigration of populations is rapidly transforming the global demographic, cultural, and landscape. As social problems are no longer confined by national boundaries, the solutions to these problems must be developed and implemented multilaterally in the international and trans-national arenas. Applicants for this award should demonstrate how their methods of educating social work students prepare them to be effective professionals in the new global context of practice.
  2. Educating Social Work Students for Generalist Practice: The context of social work practice has changed dramatically since the emergence of generalist practice several decades ago. Clients and constituents are more diverse; they possess more complex and intractable problems and are more often involuntary. Social service agencies compete for scarcer resources, are held to higher standards of fiscal and ethical accountability, and are increasingly expected to rely on research-generated evidence of program effectiveness rather than practice wisdom. Yet, there have been few changes in the models of generalist practice taught to social work students. Applicants for this award should demonstrate how the innovative models and methods of teaching students generalist practice they have created enable them to adapt more effectively to these dramatic developments in the practice environment.
  3. Educating Students to be Effective Advocates: Fiscal cutbacks and the impact of growing socio-economic inequality have intensified the resource scarcity social service organizations experience, as they exacerbate the plight of the low-income and marginalized populations with whom they work. In this environment, the need for effective social work advocates -- at the individual, community, and societal levels -- has never been greater. Applicants for this award should demonstrate how they teach social work students to engage in effective case and cause advocacy through both traditional means and through the use of cutting edge technology, such as social media.
  4. Teaching Students to be Effective Research Consumers and Researchers: New fiscal, political, and demographic realities require social workers to demonstrate that their practice is based on the best available interdisciplinary and interprofessional research. Applicants for this award should clearly demonstrate innovative ways of teaching social work research to BSW and foundation level MSW students in a manner that excites them about using research effectively and conducting research in the future. [Note: The emphasis of applications must be on the teaching of research, not on a research project.]

D. Selection Criteria

Three criteria will be used in selecting award recipients:

  1. Effectiveness
  2. Transferability
  3. Significance

Effectiveness criteria will be used to measure the innovation-in-teaching’s impact on the learners, the institution in which it takes place, or both. Transferability refers to the extent to which the innovation can be extended to other settings (e.g., from one course or institution to another or from the classroom to the field). Significance refers to the importance or consequence of the innovation to be social work education and to social work practice.

E. The Award--More Than a Ceremony

Two recipients will be announced August 2015, and presented at the CSWE 2015 Annual Program Meeting (APM). Recipients will be encouraged to present their innovations in one of two workshop formats during that same APM.

These workshops will bring together awardees and other nominees to exchange ideas on innovations in social work education that lead to innovations in social work practice. They will be scheduled to enable the award winners to demonstrate how their innovations work and engage participants in related activities.

Awardeess will receive a complimentary registration to APM (one per individual award or up to two per team award provided by CSWE), and travel and lodging will be paid for up to $1,500 per individual or team by SAGE Publications. In addition, the awardees will receive $500 worth of SAGE books or journals.

F. Questions

Please direct questions about this award to the APM mailbox and they will be forwarded to the appropriate staff contact.