The 7Rs of Field Education


  • Jenni Graves Prince of Wales Hospital & Sydney/ Sydney Eye Hospital


Field education, Social work supervisor, Student supervision, Learning and development, Social work educator


Field education is a priority within the social work profession with organisations and individual supervisors making a significant commitment to students. This article outlines the 7Rs of field education: routine, relationships, ritual, reflection, risk, replenish and rehearse. These 7Rs provide a framework for organisations and for individual field educators when thinking about field education. At any one time, large agencies typically have multiple students, sometimes more field educators (with co-supervisors), and are in the process of field education throughout the year, with pre-placement considerations occurring months prior to day one of placement. The 7Rs of field education can be used as a communication tool or a reference summary when preparing for students or in the midst of field education. The framework sets a context which highlights expected requirements whilst also focusing on the critical processes involved in student supervision: both task and process, both a science and an art. This is a reflective piece by a social work educator, whose role includes supporting social work peers in field education, organising student group learning and development and being a liaison point for students and universities prior to, and during, placements. The framework may also be of use to students and for universities.


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