Browsing School of Social Work by Subject "Practicums"
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The effect of student-field instructor similarity on their respective perceptions of the field practicum in social work educationThis study examined the effect of graduate social work student/field instructor similarity on their respective perceptions of the field practicum experience in social work education. This was done by surveying the students and field instructors in three Master of Social Work programs, pairing student responses with those of their own field instructor, and studying the results for congruency and significance. Similarity was conceptualized as one person or thing being like another, the sharing of some but not all characteristics, as having a general likeness, as closely resembling and as nearly corresponding. Perceptions were conceptualized as the ways people understand and view their surroundings--the ways people identity, comprehend, and grasp the meanings of things. The independent variable was similarity/dissimilarity between student and field instructor and the dependent variable was the congruency of their respective perception of field practicum elements. Similarity of student and field instructor was measured by socio-demographic factors, the Kolb Learning Style Inventory, and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Congruence of perception was measured by means of questions on practice factors, a Q Sort, and a group of open ended evaluative questions. One hundred thirteen pairs (226 returns) constituted the analyzable data. There was indeed similarity in the perceptions of students and field instructors. Year of placement status was found to be related to perception of practicum elements. The premise that personality similarity and teaching/learning style preference similarity are related to similarity in the perception of practicum elements was neither supported nor refuted. Certain selected socio-demographic similarities were found to be related to perception of practicum elements and certain selected socio-demographic similarities were found to be related to positive perception of practicum elements. Areas of similarity that emerged as significant included age, religion, years of experience in social work, teaching/learning style. Year of placement status, gender, race, ethnicity, and area of specialization. Implications of study findings are discussed as they relate to current literature and to learning and role theories. Implications for future research and social work education are identified as are the limitations of the study.