Hunter, C., Moen, J., & Raskin, M. (Eds.). (2015). Social work field directors. Chicago, IL: Lyceum Books.

I approached Social Work Field Directors with some trepidation. A collection of distinguished field educators compiled a book devoted entirely to the function of the complex role of field director. Still relatively new to the field director role myself, I feared that the book might overwhelm me as much as the job sometimes does. In fact, it did. But once I stepped back, I realized the immense value of having such rich information compiled in one place. Social Work Field Directors is an important and current reference covering everything from the history of field education to the nuanced (and numerous) complexities and “critical issues” that challenge a field director daily. The text is a thought-provoking work that takes on the future of our “signature pedagogy,” looking at creative and alternative models at a time of significant competition and diminishing resources.

Social Work Field Directors

Social Work Field Directors also captures the richness of the hard work we do. The innumerable stakeholders represent many relationships, and the plentiful challenges present opportunities for scholarly inquiry and collaboration with peers.

I hope the authors will revise this guide as needed as it will undoubtedly distinguish itself as the guide for field directors everywhere. Perhaps training modules could be developed for online learning or distance collaboration. With each section, there is potential for ongoing discussion and discernment about best practices. There is not a single dilemma I have encountered in my two years as a field director that was not covered in this book, if only to raise the questions and complexities that accompany them.

I smiled at the reference to field director as “magician.” Though I feel more like a round-the-clock juggler, the ability to make problems disappear, or to pull placements out of a hat would indeed be nice.