Attention: This site looks better in the latest Mozilla or Internet Explorer.

The Learning Conference 2003

Home | Newsletter | Call for Papers | Register

Presentation Details


Pathways to Practitioners: An integrated theory and practice model

Marie Craig.

In common with other professional groups, the education of social work students has always comprised two equally important aspects: the academic and the field practicum. The field, as the ‘in vivo’ learning environment, has rich opportunities to maximise the ‘metamorphosis’ of students into entry level ‘competent’ practitioners. In an era of increasing specialisation and scarce resources it is even more crucial to ensure that student practitioners are able to conceptualise and develop core and generic practice skills and knowledge that are transferable across work contexts. Further more, as placements are often variable and at times scarce with little standardisation, a model for field education that enables supervisors to maximise the field learning is essential. The social work Student Unit at St Vincent’s hospital in Melbourne, has been in partnership with the University of Melbourne School of Social Work for over ten years providing a comprehensive field programme for social work students. The Field Education programme aims to tap into the opportunities afforded by the field practicum and aims to teach transferable knowledge and skills in a specific practice context (health), including more recently practice research opportunities. Models for conceptualising adult learning and the processes important for the development of professional expertise such as Dreyfus and Dreyfus (1986) and Fook et. al,(2000) and social work practice Fook (2002), will be considered in relation to education in the field practicum and how a programme can be structured to incorporate these concepts explored.


Marie Craig  (Australia)
Student Unit Coordinator
Social Work Department
St. Vincent’s Hospital

Senior social work clinician with 13 yrs experience in health social work across 2 states, and 6 years coordinating student field education, in partnership with a number of major universities. This has included developing and implementing filed education programmes and direct supervision of students

  • Integrated theory and practice modelSocial work field education

(30 min Conference Paper, English)