Reimagining Field Education in Social Work: The Promise Unveiled


  • Purnima George Ryerson University
  • Susan Siver Ryerson University
  • Susan Preston Ryerson University



Neo-liberalism, academy, social work, field education


The current wave of neo-liberalism in Canada has driven our universities to retreat from their responsibilities as public institutions, accountable to their communities. In this paper we present a case study of field education in Canada and discuss the implications of the neoliberal academy on social work field education. On the basis of our experience as faculty consultants of BSW and MSW students, and coming from a school of social work that embraces an anti-oppression perspective as its guiding philosophy, we undertake a reconceptualization exercise in which we re-imagine field education. We politicize field education as a site with transformative possibilities. We describe the principles and processes that inform our reconceptualization and offer an example of how this might be realized in practice. This paper contributes towards developing new knowledge that unveils the promise of transformative change through a re-imagination of field education.

Author Biographies

Purnima George, Ryerson University

Associate Professor

Susan Siver, Ryerson University

Associate Professor

Susan Preston, Ryerson University

Assistant Professor