570-285-8001 info@davidhage.com



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.

Teaching Philosophy

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:10.1921/17466105.6.1.6

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 …


Courses Taught

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)
From a global life-course perspective, this course provides an introduction to the study of aging as just 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.




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)
This course examines historical development and current implementation of social policies for the aging population. Discussion of policies affecting income, health care, social services, and volunteerism will be addressed throughout the course.
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)
Through an interactive teaching format, including small group work, this course teaches the development of skills that may be useful in working directly with clients and others, including listening for emotions, monitoring one’s own reactions and responses, and building a client-worker relationship, which can foster constructive change in the client.
Sociology 101 (Comparative Sociology)
Utilizing a global perspective, this course employs a socio-cultural perspective that challenges students to think critically about diverse cultural groups. Sociological concepts such as culture, social structures, exchange systems, and family systems are examined as they relate to different cultures throughout the world.
Social Work 252 (Social Welfare Policy & Services)
A systems approach to the study and assessment of contemporary social welfare programs is a central theme of this course. Focuses on the interplay of social, political, and economic forces that influence the planning and implementation of social welfare services are examined.
Social Work 367 (Methods & Processes II)
Throughout this course, students develop skills in social work assessment and intervention within micro-mezzo-macro systems. The generalist perspective and theoretical underpinnings of systems intervention are developed and applied in the context of generalist social work practice.
Social Work 372/473/474 (Field Instruction Seminars I, II, & III)
These courses are held concurrently with level I (junior year), II & III (senior year) placements. A weekly seminar format is used for students involved in field instruction; for the duration of field placement. Student case materials, experiences, and external resources are critically analyzed, synthesized, and evaluated. Integration theoretical knowledge with practical field experience is the focus of these courses. Social work field instruction is the signature pedagogy within social work education.
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)
Students work in a community agency or clinical environment two days per week (200 hours) each semester for a total of 3 semesters (600 total hours). One placement occurs in Spring of junior year. The other two placements occur in fall and spring semesters during senior year. Field instruction takes place under the supervision of an agency supervisor and a member of the social work faculty. Students participate fully in agency activities. Social work field instruction is the signature pedagogy within social work education.



Pin It on Pinterest

Share This