Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


School of Social Welfare

Content Description

1 online resource (vi, 101 pages) : illustrations.

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Anne E. Fortune

Committee Members

Anne E. Fortune, Marion Bogo, Mary L. McCarthy


Field Practicum, Mainland China, Social Work, Social work education, Practicums, Social service, College students

Subject Categories

Education | Social Work


Social work educational programs have been rapidly expanded in mainland China since 2000, and field practicum is considered as one of the most problematic areas. This qualitative study explores baccalaureate social work students’ perceptions of the most useful learning event in the field practicum. Critical Incident Technique-based interview was conducted with 27 students from one undergraduate program in Beijing. Interview transcripts were analyzed using Nvivo software, guided by a constant comparative method in the ground theory tradition. From data analysis, a general learning process emerged that reveals similar patterns of learning among the student participants. This general learning process comprises six major phases: motivation, planning, exploring, reviewing, reflecting, and applying; and reflects the crucial challenges of developing social work in China and key issues Chinese students encounter in the field. Implications for social work education and recommendations for future research are discussed in light of these findings, with the aim to better understand and support student learning.