The transcultural training needs of field educators of international social work students

Averil Grieve, Binh Ta, Bella Ross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This study explores the perceived professional development needs of field educators supervising international social work students and how they might be linked to transcultural teaching practices. Both field education and transcultural teaching practices aim to provide reciprocal learning opportunities for educators and students. The survey responses of 66 field educators across Australia who had supervised international students were analyzed, along with data from 15 semi-structured interviews. Describing low levels of training in supervising international students, almost all respondents agreed such training should be offered. Participants perceived a need for specialized training to assist them in achieving reciprocal learning when supervising international students. This paper argues that specialized training in the field education of international students should be offered by universities with critical knowledge and expertise in on-campus transcultural teaching practices. The aim of such training is to form an understanding of culture as an act of doing, rather than a state of being. This changes the focus of learning to a mutual formation of new cultures and realities, rather than placing the onus of learning on the student and their ability to assimilate to existing cultural practices.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
JournalSocial Work Education
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 15 Mar 2021


  • CALD students
  • field education
  • international students
  • placement
  • Social work
  • transcultural teaching

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