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:: Field Instructor Seminar I


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Title: :: Field Instructor Seminar I

Field Instructor Seminar I
Building a Positive Context for Supervision
Learning A Process
Topics Covered
  • 1. Schools mission statement the critical
  • 2. Learning contract mid point progress review
    final evaluation other documentation
  • 3. Key policies and procedures
  • 4. Supervisory relationships power imbalances
  • 5. Transfer of learning learning exchange

Mission Statement
  • The School of Social Work, York University, is
    committed to social work education which develops
    practice strategies for human rights and social
    justice, and thus affirms that personal
    experiences are embedded in social structures

Mission Statement
  • Through research, curriculum, and critical
    pedagogy, the School will
  • Address oppression and subordination as
    experienced and mediated through class, gender,
    race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation,
    age and ability
  • Develop a critical appreciation of the social
    construction of reality

Mission Statement
  • Through research, curriculum, and critical
    pedagogy, the school will
  • Promote an understanding of how values and
    ideologies construct social problems and how they
    construct responses
  • Prepare students to be critical practitioners and
    agents of change.

What is a Critical Approach?
  • Critical paradigm
  • Inquiry that attempts to uncover the structure of
    the world that oppresses people
  • Reality is shaped by social, political, cultural,
    economic, ethnic and gender values

Social Work Theories
  • under the umbrella of a critical perspective
  • Radical social work
  • Structural social work
  • Anti-discrimination (anti-racism, feminism)
    anti-oppressive practices

Principles of Critical Approach
  • Reflexivity, emancipation dialogue
  • Commitment to social change social
  • justice
  • Equality of clients in practice research.

Learning Contracts
  • Learning contracts
  • Flexible, dynamic, subject to change
  • Individualizes the field objectives of the school
    to match students learning needs in a specific

Learning Contracts
  • Based on
  • Field agency capacity
  • School expectations
  • Student learning goals
  • Helps to
  • Establish goals
  • Identify steps in reaching
  • goals
  • Evaluation criteria
  • Time frame

Learning Contract Two Parts
  • Part 1
  • Administrative
  • The details of the placement
  • Who, where, when

Learning Contract Educational
  • 2. Educational
  • Goals Students and field instructors determine
    goals that reflect the criteria outlined in the
    Development Area but are specific to the context
    of the agency
  • Plan for goal attainment Explains how student
    will meet each goal tasks, activities, projects
    and method of evaluation

Learning Contract Educational
  • For example
  • Major Learning Goal To develop skills in
    working with individuals and groups
  • Plan Goal Attainment Attend a community group
    as an observer and then plan and facilitate a
    group session. My supervisor will attend a group
    session with me and give feedback on my group
    work skills.

Learning Contracts Important Characteristics
  • Mutual process
  • Basis for development of student/field instructor
  • Begins transfer of learning process
  • Begins learning process
  • Serves to provide basis for evaluation process.

  • Both the mid point review and the final
    evaluations are tied to the students learning
  • The mid point is a review of where the student is
    at ..a check in
  • It is the point at which concerns should be
    formally identified and plans put in place to
    address the concerns during the last half of the
  • The final is the point at which the students
    overall progress is assessed and a Pass or Fail
    grade assigned.

Evaluation BSW/Year 1 MSW
  • Criteria
  • Expected Level
  • The student has demonstrated growth across the
    time of placement, i.e., has demonstrated not
    only a conceptual grasp of theory and relevant
    understanding of policy and community
    development, but an ability to integrate theory
    into practice in a purposive way.
  • At the time of final evaluation, the student
    could function as a beginning social worker in a
    general service agency, i.e., capable of
    autonomous work in routine areas after a period
    of orientation with awareness, and capacity to
    seek out and utilize consultation and help from
    supervisors and other staff members.

Evaluation MSW
  • Criteria
  • Upon commencement of the MSW placement a student
    should demonstrate a strong grounding in social
    work theory and practice at the BSW level. Over
    the course of the placement the student is
    expected to demonstrate an advanced level of
    practice in which the student demonstrates
    initiative as a practitioner, professional and
    colleague and can function autonomously their
    individual practice and within the agency.

Key Policies and Procedures
  • Students are expected to attend placement 3 full
    regular working days/week (Exception post degree
  • Field instructors are asked to contact the
    students faculty liaison the students
    performance so that the school can assist in
    addressing the concerns early on in the placement

  • Students are required to attend integrative
    seminars and may need ot be released from
    placement to attend these
  • Post degree BSW 2 4 hour
  • MSW (2 year ) 5- 3 hour
  • Lunch hours and time away from placement

Termination of Placement
  • Placements may be terminated without students
    successful completing their placements for two
  • Placement failure
  • 2. Placement breakdown

  • Placement failure
  • a) Occurs as a result of a students inability to
    demonstrate the capacity to develop the required
    social work practice skills
  • b) May occur as a result of a breach of
    professional behavior

  • Placement breakdown
  • Occurs when a placement is not viable for reasons
    other than a students ability to demonstrate
    professionalism and/or the capacity to develop
    social work skills
  • For example
  • lack of adequate supervision
  • lack of appropriate learning opportunities
  • lack of fit between the student and
  • A personal situation for the student that impedes
    their ability to complete placement

School of Social Work
  • Supervisory Relationships
  • Power Imbalances

Supervisory Relationships
  • Complex emotionally intense experiences
  • Conflict is a common characteristics
  • A place where issues related to authority are
    likely to emerge for both the supervisee and the
    supervisor (Hawthorne 1975 Kadushin 1958)
  • Successes and conflicts can be a learning
    experience about helping relationships (e.g.,
    practitioner-client) (Bogo 1993).

The Relationship
  • Draw out differences between what you would
    expect from a supervisor as an employee versus a

Supervisor / Employee Supervisor/
Student Relationship Relationship
The Relationship A Teaching
  • Availability
  • Support
  • Structure
  • Promoting Student Autonomy
  • Feedback and Evaluation
  • Linking Theory and Practice

  • The ability to look back on a piece of work and
  • consider
  • What informed your assessment of the situation?
  • What theory or knowledge did you draw on?
  • What was your subjective response?
  • How did your personal response influence your
    professional response?
  • What did you learn that you can use in the future?

  • A continual re-reading of your understanding or
    analysis of a situation
  • Accounts for how self-reflection has supported
    your analysis/assessment
  • AND
  • Challenges us to consider the political, social,
    cultural, economic context of the situation.

School of Social Work
Power Imbalances Supervisors
  • Position of authority in which they are charged
    with evaluating the supervisees performance
    (Caspi Reid 2002).
  • Have a greater responsibility to take steps to
    build a positive relationship.

(Bogo, 1993 Martine Alper, 1989 Judah, 1982
Reid, 2002)
Power Imbalances Supervisors
  • Group Share
  • What steps have you taken so far to build a
    positive relationship with your students?
  • What has worked?
  • What has not worked

Power Imbalances Difference and Diversity
  • Social identity Social location
  • Cultural self-awareness power, privilege, and
  • Awareness of differences based on social
  • Identity location
  • Rarely discussed.

Power Imbalances Difference and Diversity
  • Which ways might one of you have more power than
    the other?
  • Race
  • Ethnicity
  • Gender
  • Class
  • Sexual Orientation
  • Education
  • Ability
  • Discuss some of the murky
  • or grey areas of power.
  • In acknowledging the power differential, how can
    that be managed in a positive way?

School of Social Work
  • Transfer of Learning
  • Learning Exchange

  • Students as adult learners
  • Approach as adult learners
  • Not empty vessels tremendous life experience
  • Ability to be self-directed learners
  • Experiential learning question posing approach
  • Emphasis is on building capacity to act.
  • as per Freire, 1970

  • As teachers we do not want to create an
    environment in which
  • Teacher knows, and students are taught
  • Teacher talks, and students listen
  • Teacher chooses, and students comply
  • Teacher is subject, and students merely objects

Transfer of Learning andLearning Exchange
  • There is new learning but as field
    instructors want to try to capture the elements
    of a transfer of learning or learning exchange
    rather than a top down learning experience

Transfer of Learning andLearning Exchange
  • New learning or performance can differ from
    original learning in terms of the task involved
    and/or the context involved (as when students
    apply what they have learned on practice problems
    to solving a new problem) and or the context
    involved (as when students apply classroom
    learning to performing tasks at home or work).

(Cree, V., Macaulay, K. (2000). Transfer of
Learning in Professional and Vocational
Education. London Routledge)
  • The basic elements involved in transfer are
    thus the learner, the instructional tasks
    (including learning materials and practice
    problems), the instructional context (the
    physical and social setting, including the
    instruction and support provided by the teacher,
    the behavior of other students and the norms and
    expectations inherent in the setting ), the
    transfer task and the transfer context.
  • Cree, V., Macaulay, K. (2000). Transfer of
    Learning in Professional and Vocational
    Education. London Routledge)

Transfer of Learning andLearning Exchange
  • Transformative learning (Mezirow)
  • Stages of learning that are forms of awakening or
    the ah-hah of discovery as students
  • Shift their worldview on issues as diverse as
    political ideology, understanding issues of
    oppression and privilege, understanding
    significant theories and understanding themselves.

Transfer of Learning andLearning Exchange
  • Disorienting dilemma (introduces discomfort)
  • Self-examinations (feelings too)
  • Critical self-appraisal
  • Recognition of discontent
  • Exploration of the new
  • Action planning
  • Trying on new roles
  • Building competence in the new
  • Reintegration based on the new perspective

Perrys Theory of Intellectual Development
  • Four stages of intellectual development
  • Dualism
  • Multiplicity
  • Relativism
  • Commitment to Relativism

Perrys Theory of Intellectual Development
  • Most social work students are in the relativist
    stage, but occasionally we find learners in
    earlier stages
  • Students can be encouraged through the stages
  • Strategies to navigate through

Perrys Theory of Intellectual Development
  • Dualism to Multiplicity
  • Dualist thinkers see authority figures as
  • Allow this to happen and affirm the knowledge of
    others, including the student
  • Leadership from the expert to validate other
    experts is helpful.
  • Multiplicity to Relativism
  • Conduct critical appraisal of different knowledge
    and ask students to assess the application to
    different contexts
  • Their appraisal will help move them to relativism.

Learning Styles
  • Multiple intelligences
  • Different people have different learning styles
  • It is important to understand the differences
    that exist between you and your student.

Learning Styles
  • Physical (kinesthetic) doing/watching embodied
  • Logical (mathematical) instructions, theory and
  • Aural (rhythmic) listening and discovering
  • Verbal (linguistic) listening to words
  • Visual (spatial) seeing
  • Social (interpersonal) interaction with others
  • Solitary (intra-personal) personal reflection

Learning Styles
  • Large group activity
  • How would each learner approach the task of
    learning to swim, ride a bike, etc?
  • Think about your own learning style and how you
    engage with others who are similar, and those who
    are different learners.

Learning Styles
  • On your own, recall a very difficult learning
  • you have been through while considering the
  • questions
  • What made it difficult?
  • How can these theories help you look back at your
  • What would have helped make it better?
  • What link does this have to your supervision
  • of your student?

Thank You !
Questions, Comments, Feedback?
Maureen Boettcher Manager Field Education
Program Email mobe_at_yorku.ca Tel 416-736-2100
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