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Teaching Philosophy



As a social worker and educator I know education is a force for change.  It is the medium by which information is communicated and understanding enhanced.  Education directly influences attitudes and values and can assist in defining, strengthening or modifying them.  It also attempts to recognize the diversity of emotions experienced within the the learning process and support them. An education in social work should produce strong critical thinkers who are productive and engaged citizens ready to work towards improving the world around them.


As an instructor of some challenging topics not often examined in higher education such as dying, death, grief and bereavement, I recognize that for many of the students in my courses, this may be their first introduction to thinking and learning about these topics in an academic environment. Keeping that in mind, I have three over arching objectives for the learning experiences I create:

1) to facilitate the development of an appreciation for the subject matter,

2) to provide the fundamental knowledge and tools pertaining to subject,

3) to enhance self-awareness and understanding of the world around them and the people who live and die in it. 


Lakehead University

Social Work/Gerontology 

  • Social Work at the End of Life

  • Macro Social Work Theory

  • Qualitative Research

  • Living with Grief and Loss, 

  • Aging in Canada,

  • Interprofessional Education Health and Wellness 

  • Introduction to Palliative Care 

  • Psychosocial Palliative Care                      




Student Feedback

  • Kathy is a prof who genuinely care about us, both as learners and as people. Kathy is fair, challenges us to do our best, and is always there as a support to talk to.

  • I would take any course taught by Kathy because I love being in an environment where the professor cares so much about the content and about her students.

  • Kathy is the best professor I have ever had throughout my six years of post-secondary education. She can make a course on research methodologies turn into the highlight of my school week. Her assignments are challenging but allow for creativity and for us to pursue our own interests.

  • Kathy creates a strong sense of community in the classroom as she allows for lots of interaction with other students. The course was very organized and the instructor was very accessible.

  • Appropriately and fairly time deadlines. Very thorough outline. Much appreciated!

  • Kathy's passion for whatever she is teaching comes across in each class. Kathy creates a safe and welcoming environment so that we actually enjoy being in her classroom. She is able to balance being firm and having expectations for her us while also being kind and compassionate.

  • I enjoyed learning about our aging population and feel that I’ve acquired a lot of information that I can apply outside of class. I have a lot more respect for our aging population and feel I understand their actions and feelings a lot more.

  • This course was very emotionally charged (for me) and I appreciated Kathy’s empathy and support. 

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