Fall 2021 marks a decade of publication for Field Educator. In 2011, the journal’s first editorial focused on common challenges for social work field educators: economic pressures, tensions between the service needs of agencies and the learning needs of students, and the newly added CSWE requirement for competency assessment. Field Educator, the first journal fully devoted to social work field education, pledged to tackle these challenges. Have we carried out our pledge?

I’d answer with a resounding “yes.” Specifically, a 2019 content review of Field Educator articles (Gushwa & Harriman, 2019) identified 29 articles published on field pedagogy, 19 articles on student readiness, 12 articles on assessment in field, 16 articles on innovative models in field education, and 13 articles on gatekeeping. More recent issues reflect the growing use of simulation as an emerging pedagogical method to enhance skill development. Since 2020 the journal has published several articles illuminating the impact of the pandemic on student learning. Impressively, most articles are coauthored: field faculty, teaching and research faculty, and community practitioners are represented in the coauthorship pairings. Field Educator is proud of the scholarly and professional collaborations these partnerships epitomize. Overall, by promoting research that facilitates the development of an evidence base for field education, and by encouraging information exchange that builds a scholarly community among social work faculty and community practitioners, Field Educator has created a dynamic forum for a major component of social work education that is often undervalued and overlooked.

With painful and appalling truths about inequity and racism revealed daily during the pandemic, the profession of social work has never been more central to the well-being of society. Indeed, the pandemic reminds us that social work is an essential profession for addressing the needs of society’s most vulnerable and oppressed members. The significance of our work underscores that social work educators have a profound responsibility and obligation to use the most effective means possible to prepare future generations to be competent practitioners (Asakura & Bogo, 2021). For field educators, in particular, the responsibility is considerable, as field education is expected to shoulder the primary responsibility of assessing the application of skill and knowledge to actual practice situations (Apgar, 2021).

As we look into the future, we envision that Field Educator will remain a key national and international conduit for the continued examination of new approaches to field education and of the barriers that hinder our progress toward universal excellence in field learning. We take the occasion of Field Educator’s tenth anniversary to recommit to our pledge to promote scholarship and information exchange, and also to celebrate our field education community and its commitment to seeking new and better ways to understand and improve social work education.

Editor’s note: The Fall 2021 issue marks a change in leadership at Field Educator. Amy Skeen, DSW, is the journal’s new editor in chief. Kim Harriman, MSW, has stepped down after five years as editor in chief; she now serves as program leader for intern training and staff education at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.


Apgar, D. (2021). The great divide between social work educational policy and licensure examinations: Differing approaches to identifying competency that are challenging the profession. Journal of Social Work Education, 57(3), 519–533. https://doi.org/10.1080/10437797.2019.1671273

Asakura, K., & Bogo, M. (2021). Editorial: The use of simulation in advancing clinical social work education and practice. Clinical Social Work Journal, 49,111–116. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10615-021-00810-2

Gushwa, M., & Harriman, K. (2019). Paddling against the tide: Contemporary challenges in field education. Clinical Social Work Journal,47,17–22. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10615-018-0668-3