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 gerontology, interdisciplinary health professions, and psychology. David currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Social Work/Field Director at Misericordia University, a private Catholic University in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Students can find course related and other helpful external links on the “Resources” page.
As I reflect on the impact that several of my teaching mentors have had on my present identity as an educator and field practicum director, there are several core values that I have carried over into my teaching. Each of these educators had a strong student-centered approach rooted in the dignity and worth of each 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 valued diversity and promoted integrity, justice, and service.
The teaching approach that I have developed embodies these core values and remains consistent with Misericordia University’s charisms of mercy, service, justice and hospitality for all. As an educator in an undergraduate social work program, my focus is on promoting confidence and competence across key social work values and practice behavior standards. Employing a strengths-based approach, I seek to empower my students in such a way that inspires them to positively impact those they will partner with professionally in their field practicums, and later as competent bachelor’s level generalist social work practitioners. I view field direction as a particularly important component of my role as an educator, because field education is the signature pedagogy in the social work field. In this environment, I have the privilege of using my varied practice experience to help students translate theory into practice as they begin to develop their professional social work identities.
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 placement with a useful and validated learning approach, which applies to social work students with various levels of preparation and individual learning needs. In sum, my teaching approach carefully combines structured evidence-based learning 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 …
Geriatric Care Management 510 (Dementia)
This course will concentrate on dementias that afflict the elderly in ever increasing numbers, focusing on the magnitude, pathology, progression, treatment and interventions of these diseases. Client, family, human service systems, long-term care as well as 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.
Gerontology 241 (Introduction to Social Gerontology)
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. Topics discussed include biological changes, changes in health and health habits, cognitive and intellectual changes, sex roles and family roles, work and work roles, development of relationships, changes in personality and motive, mental health and psychopathology, and death and dying. Developmental theories, models, and research methods will also be discussed.
Gerontology 375 (Aging Policy & Services)
Health Professions 135 (Health Behavior Change Application)
Psychology 285 (Communication Skills: Interviewing & Recording Techniques)
Sociology 101 (Comparative Sociology)
Social Work 252 (Social Welfare Policy & Services)
Social Work 367 (Methods & Processes II)
Social Work 372/473/474 (Field Instruction Seminars 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 472/ 475/476 (Field Instruction Sections I, II, & III)