Teaching Philosophy

I am a social work educator.

I believe that social work is a unique profession that promotes human and community
well-being. Social workers are guided by a person and environment construct, a global perspective, respect for human diversity, and scientific-based knowledge and skills.  I believe that the purpose of social work is actualized through its quest for social and economic justice, with preventive methods to promote human rights, eliminate poverty, and enhance the quality of life for all persons in the world.

I am committed to my vocation to serve the profession through teaching, scholarship, and service to families, individuals and communities.  I believe that shaping the profession’s future through the education of competent professionals will generate additional knowledge and promote leadership within the social work professional community.

I believe that teaching must be grounded in core values: service orientation, social justice,
dignity and worth of the person, human relationships, integrity, professional competence, human rights, and scientific inquiry.  These values underpin the teaching frame the profession’s commitment to respect for all people and the quest for social and economic justice.

I adhere to and follow the core competencies as determined by the Council on Social Work
Education and strive to touch on each one and every social work principle.  I believe strongly that field education is an important component of social work education that should be integrated in all course content as a means of driving the science of servicing our clients as required in the utilization of evidence based practices.

I believe that while traditional lecturing is useful as information dissemination, experiential methods should be used in social work teaching.  These methods enhance purposeful engagement with learners in direct experience and help students to focus on their reflections in order to increase knowledge, develop skills, and clarify values.  Knowledge is no longer just some letters on a page. It becomes active, something that is transacted with in life or life-like situations. I want to become a teacher with experiences. not just a transmitter of the written words.  With experiential methods through active discussions, students will use critical thinking skills to synthesize information at a deeper level of understanding, through which they become successful in their knowledge and skill development.

I believe it is important to ensure the classroom is a learning environment that encourages the discussion about human diversity in thoughts and beliefs.  The course content should encourage student development both professionally and personally. It is important to having a classroom culture that allows for open and honest discourse and exploration of
these differing opinions, values, attitudes, and techniques that help students grow.

Additionally, learning should extend outside of structured class time, through faculty’s encouragement so that students can forge bonds with each other, support and encourage one another, as well as confront questionable behavior and decisions when warranted.  I believe it is faculty’s responsibility to mentor students in and outside of the classroom, helping them to solve problems and learn how to access staff and faculty resources. The openness of the instructor sets the tone for students to seek out faculty when they need guidance, rather than “going it alone.”  Encouraging self assessment and awareness starts in the classroom and is reinforced by the instructor’s role modeling behavior in and out the classroom to encourage lifelong learning and growth.