Philosophy of Field EducationMaria de Lourdes Martinez, Director of Field Educaction
Professional social work education provides students with learning experiences to grow. The student has opportunities to adopt new attitudes, to develop a knowledge base and to demonstrate skills. These are provided through classroom training, the field agencies, class and field instructors, administrators, and others in the community who participate with the student in placement. Students in field placement learn that the relationship between study and life becomes real as they apply themselves with people.
Field instruction as experienced in an agency is considered a course on its own in that the doing and the reflection upon that doing is the learning process. Learning in the field stems from a close and continuous relationship with the learning that occurs in the classroom. Students evaluate classroom theory with respect to practice and develop their own practice style from experience-focused learning.
In preparation for the student's placement, a preliminary educational assessment of the student is done by the Office of Field Instruction in preparation for placement negotiation. Likewise, in order to make appropriate selection of learning experiences, the agency field instructor needs to establish his/her own assessment of the student's educational needs, experiences, interests and degree of motivation to learn.