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Dr. Robert J. MacFadden


Dr. Robert MacFadden graduated in 1973 with a Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) and in 1982 with a Ph.D. in Social Work from the Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto. He became a Lecturer in 1981, an Assistant Professor in 1982, and an Associate Professor in 1989.

He received a number of honours including:


  • Nominated for Faculty Teaching Award, March 2012

  • Nominated for the President’s Teaching Award, University of Toronto, 2008.

  • Haworth Press Prize, Best Article, 2004-2007, Journal of Technology in Human Services, “Souls on Ice”. Awarded at Husita8, August 28, 2007 and included a $1000 U.S. prize.

  • Teacher of the Year, 2007, Faculty of Social Work

  • Nominated, Teacher of the Year, 1999-2000

  • Award of Distinction, Peel Board of Education, 1995

  • Teacher of the Year, Faculty of Social Work, Toronto, 1990-91

  • Registered Social Worker (RSW)                   

  • National Welfare Fellowship, Health & Welfare Canada, 1979-81

  • Ontario Graduate Scholarship, 1978-79

  • Connaught Entrance Scholarship, Toronto, 1977-78

  • Sarah Rhinewine Prize, School of Social Work, Toronto, 1972-73

  • University of Toronto, Open Fellowship, 1972-73


His research involvement included projects in Cyber Counselling Research, Settlement Project, developing a Child Protection Mediation Training System for Ontario, Cyberabuse in Canada, Developing a Risk Assessment Model for Child Protection in Onatario and evaluation of the initial training phase of this model.


Publications were focused in the area of Information Technology in Human Services and Neuroscience in Social Work Practice. An example of publication in IT is MacFadden, R. J., Moore, B., Herie, M., Schoech, D. (Eds.). (September, 2005). Web-Based Education in Human Services. NY: Haworth Press. Available in hardcover and softcover. ISBN 0789026309. Contents co-published as two issues of the Journal of Technology in Human Services, Vol.23, Numbers 1 / 2 and 3/4 . In Neuroscience, a related publication would be: MacFadden, R., Schoech, D.  (2010). Neuroscience and professional decision-making: Implications for ICT. Journal of Technology in Human Services, 28:4, 282-294.


Dr. MacFadden has offered a range of presentations within the Information Technology in Human Services area, including hosting an international conference, Husita8 in this area. He has presented on Neuroscience and Social Work Practice to a wide range of professionals, some of which are featured within this website.


Together with Dr. Michele Chaban, Professor MacFadden established the Applied Mindfulness Meditation program at the Faculty which was transitioned to the university’s School of Continuing Studies. This program has been successful for over 15 years and is currently one of the largest programs that the School of Continuing Studies, University of Toronto offers. It has led to a substantial community of Meditation Practitioners and has established a global reputation in this area.


Dr. MacFadden is currently an emeritus professor at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto where he has taught for over 35 years and continues to teach graduate courses in Advanced Couple Therapy and Neuroscience and Social Work Practice.


Professor MacFadden has been both the President of Peel Children’s Aid Society and the President of Durham Children’s Aid Society, as well as the Associate Dean of his Faculty twice and he has been the Director of Continuing Education at his Faculty for several years.  He co-founded the program, Applied Mindfulness Meditation which is offered through the School of Continuing Studies, University of Toronto and in which he teaches the neuroscience module. Dr. MacFadden helped to initiate the McMaster Health Sciences program in Mindfulness and he has taught a range of health and community professionals the downstream implications of neuroscience for feelings, thoughts, behaviour, well-being and its role in Mindfulness Meditation.

Dr. Robert J. MacFadden – University of
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