Reimagining practicum in twenty-first century child and youth care




Ainsworth, Kimberley

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Practicum is widely acknowledged by undergraduate students, instructors, and practicum site supervisors as key in the education of child and youth care (CYC) students, providing opportunities for students to consolidate knowledge and skills through practice and critical reflection. Tensions permeating CYC practicum, however, include logistical challenges, perceived gaps between coursework and practice, and concerns that practicum is depoliticized. There is a need to rethink CYC practicum for the 21st century, focusing on new possibilities for liveliness and generativity. The present project contributes to the CYC field by producing two documents for the University of Victoria (UVic) School of Child and Youth Care (SCYC): (1) a literature review focusing on peer-reviewed and scholarly research on practicum, “communities of practice,” and innovative conceptualizations of practicum, and (2) a “practicum working document” that builds on exemplars of innovative conceptualizations to provide suggestions for reimagining the University of Victoria CYC practicum. In addition to drawing on reviewed literature, this project is informed by discussions that took place within the UVic SCYC Practicum Council.



practicum, child and youth care, fieldwork, field education, communities of practice