Title of Abstract

Students’ Perceptions of their Field Experience Using Photovoice

Poster Number

23

Submitting Student(s)

Jasmine Smith

Faculty Sponsor (for work done with a non-Winthrop mentor)

Monique Constance-Huggins, Ph.D.

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Social Work

Abstract

Field education is the signature pedagogy of social work education. BSW students complete their field hours during their last semester in the program, and MSW students complete them throughout their program. This experience allows students to apply their classroom knowledge through hands-on experience. It also provides them with deeper knowledge and practical skills that are essential for the workforce. Given the significance of field education, understanding students’ experience in the field is necessary to create better opportunities for them. This is particularly crucial during the current pandemic. This current study seeks to get a deeper understanding of BSW students’ field experience using a photovoice methodology, which is a participatory action research. Eleven students participated in the study during the Fall and Spring semester of the 2021-2022 academic year and 44 pictures were collected. Several themes emerged from the photos submitted by students, depicting their current field experience. Among the common themes are: (1) feeling overworked and overwhelmed, (2) seeing flaws in the system, and (3) feeling the lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. These findings have important implications for the kinds of support that may be necessary to help students thrive in their field placements. A failure to address these concerns can result in students who are under-prepared for the field or lose their momentum even before they get started.

Start Date

15-4-2022 12:00 PM

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Apr 15th, 12:00 PM

Students’ Perceptions of their Field Experience Using Photovoice

Field education is the signature pedagogy of social work education. BSW students complete their field hours during their last semester in the program, and MSW students complete them throughout their program. This experience allows students to apply their classroom knowledge through hands-on experience. It also provides them with deeper knowledge and practical skills that are essential for the workforce. Given the significance of field education, understanding students’ experience in the field is necessary to create better opportunities for them. This is particularly crucial during the current pandemic. This current study seeks to get a deeper understanding of BSW students’ field experience using a photovoice methodology, which is a participatory action research. Eleven students participated in the study during the Fall and Spring semester of the 2021-2022 academic year and 44 pictures were collected. Several themes emerged from the photos submitted by students, depicting their current field experience. Among the common themes are: (1) feeling overworked and overwhelmed, (2) seeing flaws in the system, and (3) feeling the lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. These findings have important implications for the kinds of support that may be necessary to help students thrive in their field placements. A failure to address these concerns can result in students who are under-prepared for the field or lose their momentum even before they get started.