Jump to Content Jump to Main Navigation

In This Article Field Education

  • Introduction
  • General Overviews
  • Collected Works
  • Journals
  • Supervision and Field Education
  • Historical Development and Current Context
  • Texts for Instructors
  • Manuals
  • Counseling and Educational Psychology
  • Teaching and Learning in Group Field Instruction
  • Field Education for Students in Macro Practice

Social Work Field Education
by
Marion Bogo

Introduction

Field education in social work is a component of social work education programs where students learn to practice social work through educationally focused service experiences in agency and community settings. Field education is also referred to as field instruction and field practicum, and earlier it was known as fieldwork or student supervision. The term “practice learning” is used in the United Kingdom to refer to field education. The aim of field education is to promote practice competence through students’ learning to integrate and apply the knowledge, values, and skills of social work while also offering services to individuals, families, groups, and communities. Students can also do field work in administration, planning, or policy development activities. An experienced social worker, usually an employee of the service setting, provides educationally focused field instruction and is accountable for services provided to clients. Schools of social work provide orientation and training for field instructors and linkage to the program through some form of faculty field liaison or field seminar. Field education is expected to be systematic, with educational objectives or outcomes specified as practice behaviors, the provision of relevant learning activities, and assessment of students’ mastery of practice competencies.

General Overviews

Field education is a required component of the curriculum in most undergraduate and graduate social work programs internationally. Bogo 2005 provides a critical review of the research on field education over the previous five years for a special issue of The Clinical Supervisor. In 2008 the Council on Social Work Education, in its Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (USA), identified field education as the signature pedagogy of social work, using a concept articulated by Shulman 2005. Shulman is an education scholar and researcher and former president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. A number of online resources also provide links to materials relevant to field education. The Council on Social Work Education website provides access to US material, especially accreditation standards, as the Canadian Association for Social Work Education website does for Canadian schools. Online resources specific to field education are provided through the North American Network of Field Educators (NANFED); the Centre for Excellence in Professional Placement Learning; Skills for Care, originating in the United Kingdom; and the project of the Combined Schools of Social Work in Australia.

  • Bogo, Marion. 2005. Field instruction in social work: A review of the research literature. In Supervision in counseling: Interdisciplinary issues and research. Edited by Lawrence Shulman and Andrew Safyer, 163–193. New York: Haworth.

    E-mail Citation »

    Also published in The Clinical Supervisor 24.1–2: 163–193 (available online). This critical review of the literature provides a beginning point for researchers on topics such as the context of field education; evidence for a field instruction model, including characteristics of students; diversity; individual field instruction; group supervision; task supervision; assessment of student learning and competence; training field instructors; and international comparative studies.

  • Canadian Association for Social Work Education.

    E-mail Citation »

    Provides the standards of accreditation for all social work programs in Canada, including the requirements for field education components within both baccalaureate education and master’s level education programs.

  • Centre for Excellence in Professional Placement Learning.

    E-mail Citation »

    Provides detailed information on placement and practice learning, the term used for field education in the United Kingdom. Aims to develop best practices, new and innovative opportunitiesand assessment in practice, as well as training staff to supervise students and supporting students with disabilities.

  • Combined Schools of Social Work.

    E-mail Citation »

    Based in Australia, this site offers comprehensive information about the benefits of field education, guidelines for students, training opportunities for instructors, and policies.

  • Council on Social Work Education.

    E-mail Citation »

    The accrediting agency for social work education in the United States provides information about field education as signature pedagogy and accreditation standards, including number of hours required, competencies to achieve, and incorporating classroom knowledge into the field.

  • North American Network of Field Educators and Directors (NANFED).

    E-mail Citation »

    Promotes the interests of field education in the United States and Canada through networking, encouraging publications, hosting symposiums and business meetings, and mentoring new field directors.

  • Shulman, Lee S. 2005. Signature pedagogies in the professions. Daedalus 134.3: 52–59.

    DOI: 10.1162/0011526054622015E-mail Citation »

    The seminal paper on signature pedagogy. Each profession develops pedagogical norms to connect theory and practice, shape professionals, and instill values.

  • Skills for Care.

    E-mail Citation »

    Focused on practice learning (field education); topics include benefits, assessment and training, and reports of regional and national projects.

LAST MODIFIED: 12/14/2009

DOI: 10.1093/OBO/9780195389678-0079

back to top

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content on this page. Please subscribe or login.

How to Subscribe

Oxford Bibliographies Online is available by subscription and perpetual access to institutions and individuals. For more information or to contact an Oxford Sales Representative click here.

Purchase an Ebook Version of This Article

Ebooks of the Oxford Bibliographies Online subject articles are available in North America via a number of retailers including Amazon, vitalsource, and more. Simply search on their sites for Oxford Bibliographies Online Research Guides and your desired subject article.

If you would like to purchase an eBook article and live outside North America please email onlinemarketing@oup.com to express your interest.

Article

Up

Down