Field education is the signature pedagogy of social work education

The Council on Social Work Education sets standards for social work education nationally. CSWE’s Annual Program Meeting (APM) is attended by over 3,000 social work educators, representing over 600 social work programs.

NANFED engages in the work of CSWE through the collaboration of its leadership and membership with the Council on Field Education (COFE), its support of the APM Field Track, its participation in the Field Education Summits (2009 and 2014), and conferring its annual Heart of Social Work Award at the CSWE APM.


The intent of field education is to connect the theoretical and conceptual contribution of the classroom with the practical world of the practice setting. It is a basic precept of social work education that the two interrelated components of curriculum—classroom and field—are of equal importance within the curriculum.
— Educational Policy 2.3

Council on Field Education

The Council on Field Education is a council of the Commission on Educational Policy (COEP).  The Council on Field Education (COFE) advances the role of Field Education as the signature pedagogy in social work education by promoting, collaborating with, recommending and distributing information to social work field educators and related membership organizations.  The council actively participates in discussions regarding the Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards to ensure and strengthen the integration of theory and practice.

COFE has organized their charge and prioritized their activities through establishing the following work groups:  Research and Publications, Annual Program Meeting Planning, EPAS 2015, Emerging Issues (employment based and international field placements), Council Nominations, CSWE Website, and Field Director Survey.

For more information, or to join the Field Directors List Serve, contact Estella Williamson, Chair of the Council on Field Education.


Field Education Track at CSWE

In recent years there have been nearly 100 field related presentations and events at the CSWE Annual Program Meeting (APM).  NANFED has provided leadership to the CSWE APM Field Education Track for many years, including:

  • Working closely with CSWE on the submission review process

  • Encouraging field educators to submit proposals

  • Encouraging field educators to serve as Phase I Reviewers