David Hage passionately enjoys teaching at the university level. He is committed to helping his social work students prepare for generalist social work practice, and others develop practical knowledge and skills in the fields of geriatric care management, gerontology, interdisciplinary health professions, and leadership. David currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Social Work, Field Director, and Coordinator of Gerontology Education at Misericordia University, a private Catholic University in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Students can find course related and other helpful external links on the “Resources” page.
When I reflect on the impact that several of my teaching mentors have had on my present identity as an educator, there are several core values that I have carried over into my teaching approach. Each of these educators had a strong student-centered approach rooted in the dignity and worth of each diverse person, and the value of relationships with students and those they will work with professionally in the future. They were ethically grounded and competent in professional standards of practice. Their approaches also highly valued truth, justice, and service to others. The teaching philosophy that I have developed embodies these core values.
As an educator with training and experience in social work, interdisciplinary health care, mental health, leadership, and gerontology, I have the privilege of using my varied practice experience and education to help students translate theory into practice as they begin to develop and refine their professional identities. As a social worker, I value the person-in-environment framework, which considers strategies to professionally assist individuals, families, groups, communities, and organizations execute needed change in micro, mezzo, and macro systems. As a clinical social work healthcare provider with management and leadership experience, I aspire to help students understand principles of population health, health promotion, and health policy in support of developing future health care leaders and administrators. As a gerontologist, I have a specific interest in understanding the complex needs of a rapidly aging society, and advancing strategies to help this population maximize independence and quality of life across the life course. These overlapping content areas are closely aligned and helpful in engaging students as they increase their confidence and competence in interdisciplinary healthcare and leadership roles.
My concept of learning acknowledges situated cognition for students, which notes that students learn best when the learning environment provides sufficient structure and personally meaningful content that offers opportunities to utilize new cognitive skills and strategies (Wilson, 1993). I also integrate Collingwood’s flexible Three-Stage Theory Framework, which accounts for staged contexts of learning (Collingwood, 2005). In this theory, a service user profile is obtained, theory is introduced to inform and intervene, and the appropriate knowledge, skills, and values are incorporated (Collingwood, 2005). This theoretical orientation provides students in the classroom or field with a useful and validated learning approach, which applies to students with various levels of preparation and individual learning needs. In sum, my teaching approach carefully combines structured evidence-based learning approaches in the context of the real-world application, informed by a strong value base.
Collingwood, P. (2005). Integrating theory and practice. The Journal of Practice Teaching and Learning, 6(1), 6-23. doi:10.1921/17466220.127.116.11
Wilson, A. L. (1993). The promise of situated cognition. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, 1993(57), 71-79. doi:10.1002/ace.36719935709 …
Undergraduate & Graduate Courses Taught
Geriatric Care Management 510 (Dementia)
This course will concentrate on dementias that afflict older adults in ever increasing numbers, focusing on the magnitude, pathology, progression, treatment and interventions for these diseases. Client, family, and human service systems, long-term care, and personal care issues will be studied in depth. The course will offer opportunities for geriatric care managers to gain a pragmatic experience in dealing with dementia clients, their families and other care providers.
Geriatric Care Management 500 (Geriatric Care Manager 1)
This course will provide an introduction to geriatric case management, review standards and practice guidelines, cover geriatric assessment, psychopathologic conditions common in the elderly, ethics, care planning, communication issues, and other related topics.
Gerontology 375 (Aging Policy & Services)
This course examines historical development and current implementation of social policies specific to the aging population. Discussion of policies affecting income, health care, social services, and volunteerism will be addressed throughout the course.
Gerontology 277 (Adult Development & Aging)
This course provides an overview of adult development from early adulthood through death, and focuses on both normative changes and individual differences in aging. Topics discussed include biological changes, changes in health and health habits, cognitive and intellectual changes, sex roles and family roles, work and associated roles, development of relationships, changes in personality and motivation, mental health and psychopathology, and death and dying. Developmental theories, models, and research methods will also be discussed.
Gerontology 241 (Introduction to Social Gerontology)
From a global life-course perspective, this course provides an introduction to the study of aging as one of many normal life processes in contemporary culture. Issues discussed include the biological, psychological, and sociological aspects of aging and the implications of those factors.
Health Professions 135 (Health Behavior Change Application)
This course focuses on several behavioral and social science theories, determinants of risk, and ways to link theories to prevention interventions. The course includes exercises in understanding the factors that influence behavior; an overview of the different levels of interventions; a framework to link theory, behavioral determinants and interventions; and small group work to strengthen skills learned in the course.
Psychology 285 (Communication Skills: Interviewing & Recording Techniques)
Social Work 472/ 475/476 (Field Instruction Sections I, II, & III)
Social Work 466 (Principles of Case Management)
This course is focused on the fundamentals of case management practice skills that are able to be applied in a variety of social service agency, health care, mental health, addictions and other environments. The course will help students develop foundations for best practices in case management practice. Careful consideration will be paid to the case manager’s attitude and professional use of self. Effective communication skills will be addressed in the context of assessing client strengths and needs, and how to best help clients meet their complex needs. The course will also help students learn to formulate an individualized plan with each client and how to monitor the effectiveness of services.
Social Work 372/473/474 (Field Instruction Seminars I, II, & III)
Social Work 367 (Methods & Processes II)
Social Work 351 (Human Behavior & The Social Environment II
A life-cycle course sequence exploring the bio-psycho-social-cultural determinants of human behavior from an ecological/systems perspective. Emphasis is placed on the adaptive capacity of humans in interaction with their physical and social environments. SWK 350 examines conception through adolescence and SWK 351 young adulthood through old age.