POSITION: Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, and Associate Chair
ACADEMIC UNIT: Anthropology
PLACE OF BIRTH: Toronto, ON
JOINED UTM FACULTY: 2018
“It’s important to include Indigenous education in classrooms in Ontario.”
Sherry Fukuzawa doesn’t consider herself a new faculty member because she served as a sessional instructor at UTM before accepting a full-time teaching position.
“I’ve been here for many years, so I felt odd about being touted as a new faculty member,” says Fukuzawa, an assistant professor of anthropology, teaching stream.
However, she’s new to her current role, which includes serving as the associate chair of the department and creating the department’s curriculum map.
Fukuzawa enjoys being in the classroom, and is teaching four courses this year including Introduction to Biological Anthropology & Archaeology; Biology of Human Sexuality; and Sex, Behaviour and Evolution.
Her research focuses on pedagogy, and Fukuzawa is currently involved in two intriguing projects. With funding from U of T’s Learning, Education & Assessment Fund (LEAF), she is working with UTM computer scientists to introduce a custom web tool to large classes for use in problem-based learning. The project, called Virtual Mystery, was tested as a pilot in the summer of 2019 and will be launched in January 2020.
Groups of five students each receive weekly clues to a mystery unique to their group. They post online comments about upcoming clues and, at the end of a month, must produce a product such as a museum exhibit, a request for a proposal or sorted artifacts, depending on the individual mystery. “It’s an ideal way to introduce students to each of the key areas of anthropology in an engaging fashion,” Fukuzawa says.
Her second project is a collaborative effort in community-engaged learning, working with geographer Nicole Laliberte and community members from the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, to facilitate the course Anthropology and Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island in Canada.
“We are contributing to UTM’s response to the Truth & Reconciliation Commission,” Fukuzawa says. “It’s important to include Indigenous education in classrooms in Ontario, and this type of community-based learning opens up the academy to accept and respect different ways of knowing and learning.”
- Fukuzawa, S., and Cahn, J.* (2019). Technology in Problem-based learning: Helpful or hindrance? International Journal of Information and Learning Technology, 36, 1,66-76, https://doi.org/10.1108/IJILT-12-2017-0123
- Fukuzawa, S. (2018). A “techno-phobe’s” journey to creating a Hybridized Problem-based
Learning Web-tool. Journal of Research and Practice of College Teaching. Special issue: Innovative Teaching Personal Essays, 3, 2, 8-14. https://journals.uc.edu/index.php/jrpct/article/view/868/790
- Fukuzawa, S., Boyd, C., and Cahn, J.* (2017). Student motivation in response to problem-based Learning. Collected Essays on Learning & Teaching, 10, 175-187. http://dx.doi.org.10.22329/celt.v10i0.4748