Influencing the Future Generation of Social Workers’: Field Educator Perspectives on Social Work Field Education
Keywords:Social work, Field education, Supervisor, New Zealand, Funding
As key stakeholders in social work field education, field educators have specific roles and responsibilities when working with students on placement. These roles often include coach, supervisor, educator, role model and assessor. Field education is recognised as a critical component of social work education with long-lasting impact beyond qualifying. The field educator, therefore, can also significantly influence and impact the development of the beginning social work practitioner. This article seeks to contribute to current discussions on key issues for stakeholders in field education through analysis of a survey conducted with field educators of students from Massey University in New Zealand in 2013. The findings suggest that, while being a field educator can be positive, particularly in respect of rejuvenation, new ideas and reciprocal learning, there are multiple challenges especially around workload pressures, limited managerial support, ensuring appropriate tasks for the student and the availability of resources. Recommendations are outlined in relation to further supporting field educators both within and external to the tertiary institution. adjusting to the requirements of employing new technology, and modifying staff work-loads to reflect different modes of teaching and learning.
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