Professor Kenta AsakuraKenta Asakura is the recipient of the 2020 FPA Teaching Fellowship, an award that recognizes excellence in teaching and provides an opportunity to innovate and demonstrate leadership in teaching. Asakura is a professor in the School of Social Work and director of the SIM Social Work Research Lab. He is deeply committed to simulation-based teaching, learning and student assessment as a signature pedagogy.

“Teaching is an integral part of university life,” says Dean Brenda O’Neill. “It is essential that we challenge ourselves to innovate when it comes to our pedagogical technologies and techniques. The FPA Teaching Fellowship, now in its fifth year, allows full-time faculty and instructors the opportunity to innovate and demonstrate leadership in teaching though a $1,500 honorarium and a grant of up to $7,500.”

During the two-year fellowship, Asakura is collaborating with community partners to develop a series of video-recorded simulated client situations grounded in the lived experiences of marginalized persons. Issues of socio-cultural diversities, equity and inclusion are highlighted through the simulation-based teaching and learning project.

“Unfortunately, the pandemic has put some aspects of the project on hold,” says Asakura. “Although I can develop the scenarios and scripts, without access to lab space, we cannot work with live actors to create the videos. The pandemic has also put extra stress on community members who are working to keep social programs up and running.

“Once complete, the video monologues by actors will allow students to imagine themselves as the client’s social worker,” he explains. “They’ll be able to use their own theoretical approaches and think through issues of diversity and social justice, as well as to assess their own cultural humility. Using video-recorded scenarios provides a more authentic experience than peer-to-peer role-play.

“The project brings together service providers, community stakeholders and a committee to avoid misrepresenting lived experiences and the perpetuation of stereotypes and biases grounded in racism, colonialism and other forms of social marginalization present in other simulation-based teaching pedagogies.”

Manuals and videos of simulated client scenarios will be made available to other faculty and social work educators, so more students can take advantage of the inclusive content.

In his remarks at the FPA Excellence Awards ceremony in July, Asakura said, “From the pandemic and its impact on our health and well-being to the defund the police movement, there really doesn’t seem to be a more important time than now for social work education. I’m really happy to be doing this work right now at Carleton.”

2021 FPA Excellence Awards

We are now accepting nominations for the 2021 FPA Excellence Awards in the following categories:

Research Excellence Award (Faculty)
Teaching Excellence Award (Faculty)
Teaching Excellence Award (Contract Instructor)
Teaching Fellowship Award (Faculty)
Public Commentary Excellence Award (Faculty)
Staff Excellence Award (Staff)

Previous Recipients of the Teaching Fellowship

Simon Power
Department of Economics

Sandra Robinson
School of Journalism and Communication

Sarah Todd
School of Social Work

Thursday, January 28, 2021 in , , ,
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