Students' expectations of and actual experiences in field instruction
Markowitz, Marilyn A.
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Students from two graduate schools of social work were studied to understand their expectations for field instruction and to compare their expectations to their actual experiences. Four dimensions were measured: the style of the field instructor, the content addressed in field instruction, the roles the field instructor assumed, and the responsiveness of the field instructor.;Students' pre-professional experiences had no bearing on their expectations. There were statistically significant differences between students' preferences for field instruction and their actual experiences in it. However, the actual experience of field instruction patterned expectations, perhaps explaining the rather overall high levels of satisfaction with the field instructor.;Students whose expectations were unmet had criticisms of the field instructor which fell into four categories: the field instructor was too lax, too controlling, unwilling to consider alternative points of view, and not respectful of the student as an adult learner. The majority of students whose expectations were unmet in field instruction had adaptive modes of coping with the reality demands of the situation. Nevertheless, dissatisfied students reported that their learning was deflected.;Students' satisfactions and dissatisfactions in field instruction were delineated. The field instructor's demonstration of respect towards the student was the most important area of satisfaction. The least problematic area for students was the field instructor becoming too involved in the student's personal problems. According to this study, therapeutic supervision in which the supervisee is psychologized is a phenomena of the past. The main dissatisfiers centered around authority and control issues with the field instructor.