ALICE SCHMIDT HANBIDGE
Assistant Professor at Renison University College, University of Waterloo; MSW, RSW, PhD
I am a social worker who teaches and conducts research. I view the academy through the eyes of the social work profession, and I think of scholarship and teaching as means to improve social work programs and services for the benefit of our profession's clients or consumers. I rely on several principles to guide my teaching activity. First, I believe that learning the knowledge and skills of social work needs to take place within the context of social work associated values (e.g. CASW Code of Ethics).
As a teacher, I hope to inspire and motivate students in ascertaining their inner strengths and abilities and discovering what truly inspires them. I aim to provide a stimulating learning environment that encourages students to trust their own opinions, while fostering confidence in order for students to realize their full potential. I believe that learner-oriented teaching promotes learning that is both purposeful and enduring. As a teacher, it is my responsibility to know who my students are, what their learning styles are, what kinds of knowledge and diverse experience they bring to the group, and what they want to achieve so that I can tailor a curriculum that fits their needs and yet leaves enough room to accommodate topics that emerge from group discovery. By assessing where my students are with respect to our mutual learning goals, I can provide the scaffolding they need to build connections between what they already know and the new understandings they seek to create.
Through my teaching thus far, I have found that facilitating rather than dictating to be a highly beneficial style of teaching. An interactive classroom environment, including small group work, case examples and online discussions, is an essential component to effective learning. This is because by having students actively participate in classroom interactions, they are more likely to pay attention to and learn. I have learned that if students construct their own learning experiences, they will not only retain information longer, but they will become more confident in their abilities.
As a life-long learner, I strive to continually improve and diversify my teaching knowledge and skills through accessing the latest literature, attending workshops, and actively experimenting and innovating new activities and methods of teaching.
Lastly, I facilitate learning by being available to my students inside and outside of class and online by incorporating assignments that meet the needs of students of various learning styles. I believe that technological skills are an asset to social work practitioners and administrators and look to find ways to access and integrate technology and e-learning in the (virtual) classroom.
I have an uncompromising view is that all students can learn, given a positive learning atmosphere that welcomes exploration and enhances student confidence. It is my belief that is a social work educator’s mission to make school enjoyable and exciting and to help students learn to apply the lecture content which will ultimately help students in their future careers.
ALICE'S TEACHING PHILOSOPHY
Dr. Alice Schmidt Hanbidge, Assistant Professor (Bachelor and Master’s degree programs) in the School of Social Work at Renison University College, University of Waterloo combines the applied practices of community mental health within an academic setting. Key research areas of interest include community mental health children’s programming, the impact of school-based interventions, evidence-based group work methodology, furthering field education in social work, and advancing technology in the teaching of social work.
She attended the University of Waterloo for her B.A. (Sociology), Wilfrid Laurier University for her Master of Social Work degree (1986). Recently, in 2012, she graduated with her PhD in Social Work from Wilfrid Laurier.
Prior to entering academia, her 20+ year extensive social work practice includes a specialization in community mental health and encompassed diverse experiences, including frontline work with men and women in both the provincial and federal criminal justice systems; street youth services; child welfare; clinical counselling to individuals, couples, families and groups; staff and volunteer training; fundraising; and youth social issues theatre.
Her community work experience includes leadership positions, including the design and development of a school-based emotion management family program, STEAM (Skills & Tools for Emotions Management), now in its fifteenth year of operation. As the director of the program, she prepared and managed the annual budget, fundraised for the program, recruited, trained and led a team through the planning, implementation and evaluation of the school-based program. A fun project she coordinated was the development of a children’s emotion management web-based educational game http://kwcounselling.com/rollsteady.