Social work field education with external supervision

Zuchowski, Ines Sofia (2015) Social work field education with external supervision. PhD thesis, James Cook University.

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Field education is essential in preparing social work students for professional social work practice. Students complete placement in a human service organisation, during which their learning is guided and assessed, typically by an experienced social worker within the agency. Placements also can be set up with external supervision, where a social worker outside the agency provides weekly professional supervision to the student. The aim of this study was to explore the experiences of key stakeholders in social work field education which is conducted with external supervision.

Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with students, task supervisors, field educators and university liaison people. Findings suggest that placements with external supervision can provide additional layers of learning when structures are in place to address various challenges. The discussion highlights that placements with external supervision are focused on learning about practicing social work. They emphasise the importance of student driven learning. Complexities in the relationships, collaboration processes and learning environment in placements with external supervision impact the learning in field education.

The thesis reports that external and internal pressures are impacting on social work practice learning. As a consequence off-site supervision is becoming more prevalent. Recommendations propose that emerging field education models be planned appropriately, focussing on student learning and growth. It is recommended that these placements be well-supported, with explicit collaboration between the university, the field and the students, rather than set up as a last resort.

Item ID: 43811
Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: field education; field educators; learning; practice; social work students; social work; student placements; supervising students; supervision
Research Data:
Date Deposited: 19 May 2016 00:31
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1607 Social Work > 160799 Social Work not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9305 Education and Training Systems > 930599 Education and Training Systems not elsewhere classified @ 34%
93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939902 Education and Training Theory and Methodology @ 33%
93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9302 Teaching and Instruction > 930299 Teaching and Instruction not elsewhere classified @ 33%
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