Academic journal article Field Educator

From the Editor: "Moving the Needle" in Field Education

Academic journal article Field Educator

From the Editor: "Moving the Needle" in Field Education

Article excerpt

How apropos it is, and what an honor for the Field Educator, to have Dr. Darla Spence Coffey, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Council on Social Work Education, engaged in an interview by Dr. Bill Fisher, Director of Field Education and professor at Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts, and a leader of the task force that developed a first ever-survey of field directors in the United States for the purpose of learning about the state of field education.

In a period of about two years, a Field Summit was held at the 2014 APM of CSWE, Social Work Field Directors was published in 2015 and the field directors' survey was conducted (data currently being analyzed and interpreted). This attention to our "signature pedagogy" signals something. What is that "something?"

In an era of growing competition, burgeoning enrollments in a growing number of graduate social work programs (now including a large number of online programs), field educators are bumping up against a "stuckness" that I suspect led Dr. Spence Coffey to invoke the image of "moving the needle." The number of students is growing, but the number of placements - quality placements, that is - are not keeping pace. With growing numbers, the ability to properly monitor the learning of our students suffers when resources don't accelerate at the same rate. New models of care are emerging as a result of the Affordable Care Act, and the implications for social workers are exciting to say the least. …

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