When the Professor Becomes a Student: Reflecting on the Importance of the Relationship Between Social Work, One Health, and Humane Education

  • Ashley O'Connor
  • Amber Jones
Keywords: One Health, humane education, person in environment


Social work is a field containing theories, such as cognitive behavioral theory, that include the environment when thinking about people in society. However, in practice and teaching, sometimes the environment gets taken out of the equation as social workers fail to consider the physical environment when addressing patterns of behavior. This paper describes the journey of a social work professor who entered a graduate program in humane studies in order to make her practice and teaching more inclusive of the environment and other living things. It also includes narrative from an MSW student who learned about the paradigms of One Health and humane education through the social work professor. Through a mix of explaining these paradigms and our lived experiences, this paper encourages others to think more about the importance of the interconnectedness of humans, living things, and the environment in their helping profession.