A History of Educational Supervision
in Social Work
To understand the purpose and utility of TCS, it is important to consider it within the historical and contemporary contexts of educational supervision. This chapter provides a historical overview of educational supervision in social work and considers ways in which various approaches relate to TCS.
Educational supervision existed prior to formal, school-based social work education (George 1982). As the training of new social workers became formalized in academic settings, the experiential learning process was maintained and became known as “field instruction” (discussed in depth later in this chapter). Social workers not in formal degree-granting programs typically learned on the job, under the direction of a supervisor. While these two arrangements, academic and on-the-job training, remain, approaches to field instruction have changed throughout social work's history.
Note: In this book, the terms “approach” and “model” refer to different constructs. While both represent an organized set of principles for supervision, approaches are general, contextual, and broad-based considerations for supervision, while models offer specific, discrete, step-by-step guidelines that