Skip to main content

Why We Use Practicum

Dear GCSW Community, 

The GCSW Practicum team would like to communicate a shift in our practice. We have engaged in an ongoing process to apply an anti-racist framework to our work and specifically to understanding and navigating practicum. Our team believes reflection, language, and action allows us to imagine what an anti-racist, affirming, practicum experience can be.    

Several team members attended the webinar, From Complicity to Resistance, and heard activist Joyce McMillan discuss how we send social workers out “into a field” to police rather than liberate.   

This experience resonated strongly with the practicum team and we collectively agreed to move towards liberation and freedom by the conscious selection of the language we use. This review included the elimination of the term field. 

We acknowledge our complicity in using the term field and the mechanism of field as a harmful gatekeeping strategy.  The language shift of using “practicum education” instead of “field education,” is a reminder to move towards liberation and accountability marker to move away from harm. We view it as more than changing language, but rather, centering Blackness and our communities of color by working to combat anti-Blackness, honoring and acknowledging inclusion, and rejecting ideologies of White supremacy. We are asking the GCSW community to join us on this journey.     

The work continues.  

In solidarity, 

GCSW Practicum Team [Cindy Carter, Charday Foster, Shelley Gonzales, Yvonne Mendoza, Jamie Parker, Tamika White, Karin Simpson (graduate assistant), and Melanie Pang (former practicum team member)]