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Multiculturalism and Social Work | San Francisco State University

Reimaging field instruction from a spiritually sensitive perspective: an alternative approach

Author: Okundaye, J.N; Gray, C; Gray, L.B
Author Background: Social Work Dept., Univ. of Maryland, Baltimore County, 1000 Hilltop Cir., Baltimore 21250; e-mail: jukund1@umbc.edu
Date 7/1999
Type Journal
Journal Title: Social-Work
Volume/Pages 44(4): 371-383
Subject Matter Field-instruction; Social-work-education; Relationships-; Supervision-; Social-work-students; Teachers-; Spirituality
Abstract Field work is a major component of social work training embedded in our graduate training process. This article proposes incorporating some wisdom of Eastern traditions and spirituality, which moves the vertical line of hierarchy into a circular, interactional approach to field work instruction. The concepts presented for discussion and application are Sacred Space, karma, interrelation-emptiness, process dedicated to process--no goal, and Taoist harmony. The authors conclude by using the concepts of power and authority to demonstrate the interconnectedness of the concepts. They argue that the Eastern alternative presented supports an environment more conducive to the promotion of natural authority, whereas the traditional models promote the exercise of power. The authors urge field instructors and students to incorporate this alternative paradigm into their educational experiences to maximize their opportunities for professional development and open the process of field work supervision to the upper limits of its potential. (This is one of seven articles in a second special centennial issue.). (Journal abstract.)