Field Instruction with Integration and Implementation of Indigenous Social Work Education.




The purpose of field work is ... to clarify technical instruction. Just as the botanist goes into the fields to study plants and flowers to supplement his text book knowledge, and just as the geologist turns from a study of books to the study of rocks, so the social worker goes from the classroom to the appropriate field work activity, using the field work as a means of clarifying and adding point to the classroom instruction (Manshardt, 1985:3).

 Field instruction, a crucial component of social work education, is recognised as an educational process to facilitate integrative and experiential learning. Though the pattern and organisation of social work practicum have some universality, the micro-based practice model adopted in the Indian context has led to inappropriately designed field education programmes producing students unsuited to meet the developmental need of the Indian society. Efforts made to restructure field instruction to prepare students for macro-based practice roles have been too slow to find their way into the educational programme of most of the schools of social work in India. Major problems such as scarcity of field placements, non-availability of qualified agency-based field instructors, inadequate linkage between classroom teaching and field realities, and poor faculty position still prevail. Crucial areas for change in field instruction are examined and alternative strategies are suggested in the light of the emerging socioeconomic concerns of the country and recent trends in the profession.