Recent recognition of workplace learning from within the University sector has resulted in more emphasis being placed on including field experiences in course curriculum across a range of disciplines. This article begins with a short review of the literature relating to the current context in which work-based learning occurs. Next, selected findings from a survey of 39 Victorian social work students on their experiences of placement learning are reported. The survey focused on problems encountered by students on placement. A number of the problems students faced suggested the need for additional opportunities both before and during the placements to engage with material on safety in the field, and ways to deal with workplace stress and conflict. In response to these issues the article summarises some pedagogical strategies that may be used to enhance student learning in these areas both leading up to and during their field placements. In addition to matters relating to safety and stress, financial pressures were evident for students endeavouring to complete field placements. The recent moves from universities to embrace industry based learning, clearly has implications for funding support made available to students undertaking this type of education.
Published Online: 28 Mar 2003
Field of Research
169999 Studies in Human Society not elsewhere classified