Academic journal article Field Educator

From the Editor

Academic journal article Field Educator

From the Editor

Article excerpt

Welcome to the Field Educator ! The Field Educator is an open access journal dedicated to the exchange of knowledge between field educators in academia and in the practice community. Field is the heart of social work education, and has been designated its "signature pedagogy." There is a wealth of tacit knowledge held by field educators: field instructors/practice educators, training coordinators, liaisons and field directors. The aim of the Field Educator is to make this knowledge explicit and to share it within the community involved in training social workers.

These are challenging times for field education. Economic pressures have led to staff reductions and increased productivity demands in agencies. Tensions between the service needs of agencies and the learning needs of students, always present, take on new meaning and urgency in resource-scarce environments. Council on Social Work Education's accreditation standards will inevitably lead us to place additional demands on field instructors to document student attainment of practice competencies. Evolving education models incorporate online technologies, which represent both promise and pitfalls.

Field educators are exploring new ideas to respond to the issues, concerns and problems facing social work field education. For example, they are developing evidence-based methods of assessing student competencies in field, suggesting innovative forms of field learning and mounting collaborative projects between schools and affiliated agencies. It is crucial that these efforts be promoted and evaluated through ongoing communication between field educators and practice communities. Invitation to the conversation is extended to all educators who rely on the clinical internship or practicum for developing student competencies and professional socialization: psychologists, psychiatrists, nurses, doctors, physical and occupational therapists, teachers, and lawyers. Students are also encouraged to share their perspectives.

Field knowledge will be presented in several sections of the journal.

* The Field Scholar section will feature formal, scholarly, peer-reviewed articles on research and theory on important topics in field education, such as evaluation of student competencies in field and best practices in field instruction. …

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