March 15, 2023

Collaborative scholarship brings together classroom and field

TFEL book launch encourages dialogue on innovative and sustainable models for social work field education
Portrait of Dr. Grant Charles, Dr. Sheri M. McConnell, Kamal Khatiwada, MSW, and Dr. Julie Drolet
From left: Dr. Grant Charles, Dr. Sheri M. McConnell, Kamal Khatiwada, MSW, and Dr. Julie Drolet Leslie Evelin Salgado Arzuaga

The book Transforming Social Work Field Education: New Insights from Practice Research and Scholarship focuses on new understandings and approaches in social work field education grounded in the experiences of diverse communities.

The Transforming the Field Education Landscape (TFEL) partnership brings together Field Research Scholars across both Canada and internationally through biweekly seminars to present on social work practice research and implications for field education. The new book brings together diverse voices and perspectives on critical issues facing social work field education.

Edited by University of Calgary Faculty of Social Work professor Julie L. Drolet, Grant Charles, Sheri M. McConnell, and the late Marion Bogo, the book brings together emerging experiences and innovative approaches to revision how the profession can prepare the next generation of social workers.

This book makes an essential contribution to reimagining field placements that provide quality learning experiences for undergraduate and graduate students. While field education is identified as a critical component of Social Work education, this corpus of literature contributes to bringing together the classroom and the field.  

"This book is unique, and nothing like this has been done before, nothing with such a broad range of topics,” says TFEL Co-Investigator Dr. Charles, an Associate Professor with the University of British Columbia. “It is an invaluable resource for people in the field, in the classroom, and even people in other professions.”

Transforming Social Work Field Education: New Insights from Practice Research and Scholarship covers issues in field education practice, research, and theory; anti-racist and Indigenous knowledges, methodologies, and perspectives; social justice, advocacy, and international social work; and new developments and approaches in field education. The broad range of contributions shows how field education research can be integrated into practice while developing new research skills and knowledge in the profession.

“This is a great book for an integrated seminar or a discussion in a field team or in an agency, or if one of the schools is doing a field educators course, this could be part of that curriculum as well. I think the same is true with the upcoming Handbook,” says TFEL Co-Investigator Dr. Sheri M. McConnell, an Assistant Professor, Memorial University.

A unique feature of this book is its collaborative character. Scholars at distinct stages of their careers, including Master’s and PhD students who are located in diverse geographic regions such as Canada, the United States, Ethiopia, Kosova, Mexico, and Pakistan, share their work in this volume. As Dr. Ellen Perrault, Dean of the Faculty of Social Work highlighted during the launch event, this book aligns with the Faculty of Social Work Strategic Plan, whose priorities include promoting impactful research and collaboration.

Transforming the Field Education Landscape Partnership

The Transforming the Field Education Landscape project brings together social work academic researchers, field educators, students, professional social work associations, and partners who share concerns about the state of field education in Canada and internationally. Dr. Julie Drolet, TFEL Project Director, says the goal of the TFEL is “to integrate research and practice in the preparation of the next generation of social workers by developing partnered research training initiatives, both within academia and across the public and not-for-profit sectors, that enhance student research practice knowledge and applied skill development.”

In accordance with TFEL mandate and thanks to the University Calgary Press, the new TFEL book is an open-access resource available here under Creative Common License.