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Volunteering Enhances the Social Work Student Experience

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Abstract

While field education has been designated the signature pedagogy of the social work curriculum, students often have exposure to social welfare agencies long before practicum semester(s). Despite the number of social work programs that utilize volunteering to help students better understand the social work profession, little is known about the effects of volunteering on academic measures as well as the student. This study (N=67) found that volunteering has considerable positive benefits for the implicit curriculum through socializing the student, providing a real world context, and embodying the professional value of service.

Keywords: volunteering, service learning, implicit curriculum
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The Meaning and Value of Supervision in Social Work Field Education

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Abstract

Supervision has played an important role in social work field education for many years. This evaluative qualitative study considers perspectives of field instructors and students regarding the meaning and value of supervision. Findings align with the limited information available through literature review. Field instructors value teaching and giving feedback to students that shapes their professional practice in the field setting. Field instructors also value the opportunity to develop their own leadership and management skills. Students value learning from experienced professionals in the field, feedback on skill development, and the opportunity to process what is happening in field experience.

Keywords: field education, field instructor perspective, meaning and value, social work education, student perspective, supervision, qualitative

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