3b. Design, Implementation, and Evaluation of Field Experiences and Clinical Practice
3b.1. Describe the proposed entry and exit requirements for clinical practice.
Entrance Requirements for clinical practice:
The unit requires that the teacher candidate complete the Application for Student Teaching by the second week of the semester prior to their student teaching semester, and submit it to the Field Experiences Coordinator. The teacher candidate must receive acceptable ratings on all key assessments administered prior to the clinical practice experience. The following criteria must be met to student teach:
- All university coursework must be completed
- 2.5 GPA
- C or above in all education courses
- Acceptable evaluation from previous field experiences on the Field Experience/Student Teaching Mid-term/Final Summative Assessments
- Acceptable evaluation on the Lesson Planning Assessment in Professional Core I and Professional Core III.
- Acceptable evaluation on the Professional Dispositions Assessment
- Clear Criminal background check
- Liability insurance secured and documented
Exit Requirements for clinical practice:
- Complete 75 days (15 weeks x 5 x 8 hours per day) or 600 hours of clinical practice.
- Grade of B or higher in clinical practice
- Acceptable evaluation on Field Experience/Student Teaching Mid-term/Final Summative Assessment
- Acceptable evaluation on Electronic Portfolio entries (pedagogy example provided).
- Acceptable evaluation on the Dispositions Assessment
- Acceptable evaluation on the Student Teacher Work Sample
- Completion of Teacher Candidate Self Assessment
3b.2. Describe the proposed field experiences for each program or categories of programs in initial preparation programs. Describe the proposed required clinical practice for each program or categories of programs in initial preparation programs.
The unit’s field experiences are developmental and sequential in nature for all programs (Early Childhood; Middle Grades; Middle Grades Post Baccalaureate, Secondary English and Mathematics; and Secondary English and Mathematics Post Baccalaureate Programs). Details are outlined in the Early Childhood Education Program Field Experience and Clinical Experience Progression and the Middle Grades/Middle Grade Post Baccalaureate and Secondary/Secondary Post Baccalaureate Program Field Experience and Clinical Experience tables. The education courses taken early in the progression provide the teacher candidate the opportunity to acquire the skills and knowledge that will be necessary to be successful in field and clinical experiences. The teacher candidate gains knowledge and skills in content and early methods courses, and has ample opportunity to practice through peer teaching, video-taping the lessons delivered, reflecting on one’s presentations, and receiving feedback from peers. The teacher candidate progresses through the program to practice in the PK-12 partner schools the theory, methods, and strategies learned in unit education courses. Throughout the structured sequence of courses, the teacher candidate is provided support from university faculty and the mentor teacher to become proficient in the art and science of teaching.
The teacher candidate works with a diverse population of peers in age, background, socioeconomic status, and ethnicity in the university setting that helps to prepare the teacher candidate for planning and teaching in the diverse PK-12 classrooms of the unit’s partner schools. The partner schools provide a wide diversity of student populations in ethnicity, race, socioeconomic levels, family structure, and ability levels; 80% of the unit’s partner schools qualify for Title I status. The diverse nature of the partner school settings provide for extensive and rich opportunities for the teacher candidate to develop the dispositions, the knowledge, and the skills necessary to help all PK-12 students learn.
3b.3. Describe how the unit plans to systematically ensure that candidates develop proficiencies outlined in the unit’s conceptual framework, state standards, and professional standards through field and clinical experiences in initial preparation programs.
A developmental sequence of field and clinical experiences for Early Childhood Education and Middle Grades/Middle Grade Post Baccalaureate and Secondary/Secondary Post Baccalaureate is focused on the development of the teacher candidate’s target behaviors for pedagogical content knowledge and skills, pedagogical and professional knowledge and skills, and professional dispositions. Seven key assessments are used to demonstrate the proficiencies outlined in the unit’s conceptual framework, state standards, and professional standards. The key assessments are:
Teacher Candidate Core Professional Dispositions Assessment: This key assessment is used to assess the teacher candidate’s proficiency with professional dispositions identified as essential when working with PK-12 students, families, colleagues, and communities. The teacher candidate is evaluated at the end of each semester by the faculty and provided feedback regarding the teacher candidate’s professional dispositions.
Field Experience/Student Teaching Midterm/Final Evaluation: This key assessment is used to assess the teacher candidate’s ability to demonstrate pedagogical content knowledge and skills. In the field experiences and in clinical practice a midterm and final evaluation is conducted to measure proficiency on the skill areas identified by professional standards and the unit’s conceptual framework.
Lesson Plan Assessment: This key assessment is used to assess the teacher candidate’s ability to demonstrate pedagogical content knowledge and skills and the pedagogical and professional knowledge and skills necessary to facilitate student learning. During the field experience component of the program many opportunities are provided for the candidate to plan lessons for a wide variety of PK-12 settings in various content areas.
Electronic Portfolio: This key assessment is used to assess the teacher candidate’s ability to demonstrate pedagogical content knowledge and skills, pedagogical and professional knowledge and skills, and professional dispositions necessary to help all students learn. The teacher candidate’s portfolio includes a reflective statement, based on research and application of the conceptual framework practices to the classroom, and appropriate artifacts. The final E-folio is presented as an exit requirement of the clinical practice experience.
Student Teacher Work Sample: This key assessment is used to assess the teacher candidate’s ability to assess and analyze student learning, make appropriate adjustments to instruction, monitor student learning, and develop and implement meaningful learning experiences to help all students learn. The teacher candidate completes the Student Teacher Work Sample as an exit requirement to the clinical teaching experience.
Surveys: Teacher Candidate Self-Assessment Survey, Mentor Teacher Survey of Teacher Candidate Performance: Following each field experience the teacher candidate self assesses the degree to which they feel prepared with pedagogical content knowledge and skills, pedagogical and professional knowledge and skills, and dispositions necessary to help all students learn. Additionally, the teacher candidate’s mentor teacher assesses the candidate’s mastery with these skills.
3b.4. Describe how the unit plans to systematically ensure that the teacher candidate uses technology as an instructional tool during field experiences and clinical practice.
The unit systematically ensures that candidates use technology as an instructional tool during field experiences and clinical practice as evidenced through multiple assessments and can be found in the chart entitled Key Assessments for Technology Knowledge and Application.
3b.5. Describe the criteria that the unit will use in the selection of school-based clinical faculty. Describe how the unit will ensure implementation of the criteria. Describe the evidence that the unit plans to ensure that school-based clinical faculty members are accomplished school professionals.
In collaboration with partner school districts in Southwest Georgia, the unit uses the following criteria in the selection of school-based clinical faculty:
- 3 years teaching experience
- Certification in the grade level/subject placement
- Recommendation by school principal
The district personal responsible for the placement of teacher candidates in field experience and clinical teaching will certify that the school-based clinical faculty selected by the school principal meets each of these criteria.
The Division of Education’s clinical teacher program is a planned, concentrated, ongoing process to identify and train its school based PK-12 faculty within the structure of a collegial partnership. University faculty, school based faculty, and district administrators participate to share in the design, training, and evaluation of the clinical teacher program. The clinical teacher program provides the structure and opportunity for the unit to work closely with PK-12 partners to discuss, design, advise, and train on the key assessments used in field and clinical experiences. The unit will ensure school based clinical faculty are familiar with clinical teacher program policies and instruments through ongoing training provided by the unit twice a year and by orientations at district locations twice a year.
3b.6. Describe how the unit will prepare, or train, school-based faculty members for their roles as clinical supervisors.
The unit prepares or trains its school based faculty members for their roles as clinical supervisors through participation in its clinical teacher program. The clinical teacher program is a planned, structured, on-going program to identify and train its school based faculty to be partners with the university supervisors and unit faculty in the supervision of its student teachers. The unit provides two meetings annually during which time participants use training videos to practice scoring evaluation instruments to ensure reliability and lack of bias. The meetings provide an opportunity for district administrators and school based faculty to provide feedback on new initiatives, share district and partner school needs, resolve programmatic issues and concerns in a collegial manner; and to discuss, design, revise, and provide on-going evaluation for the clinical teacher program. The clinical teaching training is provided twice a year in order to continually bring new school based faculty into the program.
In addition to the twice yearly clinical teacher program meetings, the unit provides after school orientation sessions each semester as needed for partner schools at multiple sites in the 11 school districts across the large geographic region served by the unit’s programs. The orientation sessions are directed by the unit’s field coordinator. University supervisors and trained school-based faculty participate in the orientation; updating information; explaining the roles and responsibilities of mentors, candidates, and university supervisors; and training new clinical teacher program participants in the use of the unit’s key assessments.
The unit provides the clinical supervisor with a copy of the Field Experience Handbook or the Student Teaching Handbook at the clinical teacher training meetings and at the partner school orientation meetings after school. Digital copies of the handbooks are available on-line so that all participants in the clinical teacher program have ready access to the roles and responsibilities of each party, and to all forms needed during the field and/or student teaching experience.
3b.7. Describe the proposed evidence that the unit will use to demonstrate that clinical faculty members provide regular and continuous support for student teachers.
The unit ensures that clinical faculty members provide regular and continuous support for field experience students and student teachers by providing training, orientation, and copies of the Field Experience Handbook or the Student Teaching Handbook that clearly delineates the roles and responsibilities of each party.
The unit requires mentor teachers to observe and document teacher candidate performance and proficiencies regularly throughout the clinical experience using the Field/Clinical Experiences Formative Evaluation and the Field/Clinical Mid-term/Final Summative Evaluation.
The mentor teacher provides ongoing feedback by conferencing with teacher candidate throughout the student teaching experience. The university supervisor maintains close contact with the mentor teacher through frequent conferencing when visiting partner schools to observe the teacher candidate. Opportunities for additional conferencing are readily available upon mentor teacher request as needed to share concerns, monitor progress, and provide support for the teacher candidate.
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