|Summary: Field experiences are an essential and central part of all unit programs, and the design, implementation, and evaluation are of the highest priority. They are carefully designed to provide a variety of settings in which candidates may apply and reflect on their content, professional, and pedagogical knowledge, skills, and dispositions. Requirements ensure that they interact in meaningful ways with professionals in the K-12 environment, parents, community members, unit faculty, and peers. They observe and are observed by others and are required to reflect on their own and others’ practice, integrating theory and practice in real-world settings.|
Field experiences are an essential and central part of all unit programs, and the design, implementation, and evaluation are of the highest priority. The unit’s programs have specific requirements for the entry and exit of all programs. These requirements are identified during “checkpoints” throughout the program. The Unit Assessment Charts provide a description of these checkpoints. Documents that are used at these entry and exit points that may be helpful in understanding these checkpoints include:
- Application to Student Teaching
- Writing Prompt
- Interview Rubric
- E-Folio Rubric
- Diversity Survey
- Exit Survey
Field Experiences are varied and progressive, usually beginning with observations and reflection, and gradually building to full participation as teachers-of-record or school-leaders-of-record. Candidates in B.Ed. and diploma programs are required to have 360 hours of field experience, and candidates at the masters levels have 400 field-based hours. These experiences are clearly described in each program’s internship handbook (B.Ed. Student Teaching Handbook, Diploma Internship Handbook, MEL Internship Handbook, and MSPED Internship Handbook).
All programs were developed to address international standards in the field and the set of courses was designed to provide broad and deep opportunities to achieve mastery of these standards. The proficiencies for unit derive directly from the conceptual framework and are specified in learning outcomes. Having thus conceptually prepared our programs to met standards and support the conceptual framework, faculty met and designed a matrix for each program that mapped the standards (unit learning outcomes and national professional standards) to specific assignments that would assess candidate mastery of that standard. We then checked the syllabi for the courses identified for these assignments to ensure that the assignment was appropriate to assess the targeted knowledge, skills, and/or disposition and would be assessed in the course.
It is then the candidate’s responsibility to select and post representative work on the candidate’s E-Folio (on TaskStream™) to demonstrate mastery of the unit’s learning outcomes and to reflect on how they represent mastery. Advisors discuss these contributions with the candidates over the last two semesters to give feedback, and a final assessment is made at the end of the candidate’s student teaching or internship. Individual and summative reports may be generated by TaskStream™ to give evidence on candidate mastery of knowledge and skills.
In addition, the Classroom Performance Assessment (CPA), Professional Dispositions Instrument (PDI), and Professional Practice Indicator (PPI) are administered to all B.Ed. and Diploma students at the second and third checkpoints to (three times over the course of their programs), to collect data in these areas. Knowledge, skills, and attitudes related to diversity are evaluated by the diversity survey twice over the course of their programs. The multiple administrations allow us to measure growth and development of candidates over time. Masters students do not take the CPA, PDI, or PPI, but they take the Diversity Survey and, in the case of the MEL candidates, do self-assessments on the national standards (correlated to NCATE/ELCC).
At the end of each semester of Student Teaching/Internship, a committee specifically reviews both the experiences and the handbook to ascertain that both continue to maximize the candidates’ experience. Future meetings will include representatives of the mentor teachers’ group and former students of the program who have competed their student teaching/internship. The Post-Graduation Survey is also administered after the QU graduate has been in the field for a year to collect their perspectives on how well they were prepared.
Technology is one of the proficiencies derived from the Conceptual Framework, and thus is included on the program matrices. Candidates have specific assignments in their courses that require the instructional use of technology, and candidates are responsible for posting an example and reflection to their the E-Folios. TaskStream™ can generate individual, program, and overall summaries of candidate scores on that item.
Less systematic for assessment is the integration ICT throughout our programs. Since the application of technology is specifically addresses in both the CF and the QNPS, evaluation items are included in the class observation form and in the Classroom Performance Assessment (CPA), which is used for all B.Ed. and diploma candidates. The B.Ed. program also has a course that specifically focuses on the instructional use of technology (EDUC 314, Technology for Children) as does the Diploma in Secondary Education (Methods II, all fields – Inquiry and ICT in...). The MEL program has a course focused on leadership issues in technology (EDEL 602, Management of School Information Systems). The MSPED program has assistive and instructional technology integrated throughout its program.
Only the mentor teachers or mentor leaders are school-based. After selection, each mentor is visited by the person who coordinates the placement of candidates. The unit hosts orientation sessions for masters level mentors and for diploma level mentors each semester in which there is a field-based course. Feedback from mentors and candidates suggested that more support was needed, so a new training for mentor teachers is being designed that will introduce them to other mentors, to COE faculty and supervisors, and to the materials available to support the candidates. An introductory training and an end-of-term review and appreciation meeting is planned for the next student teaching/internship cycle.
For undergraduate and diploma candidates, college supervisors are required to visit and observe their candidates at least five (5) times during the semester and document their observations. Supervisors also meet weekly to discuss candidates’ progress and collect new information. (See meeting schedule for college supervisors.)
MEL and MSPED faculty members visit the candidates onsite one-to-two times per semester, hold weekly online discussions, and monthly on-campus seminars. Course evaluations and exit surveys indicate that candidates’ perceptions of the support they receive is positive.
Analysis of data and current research are central to all programs, especially at the masters level. Examples of specific assignments include:
EDEL 601: School Management Plan.
EDEL 602: Classroom Action Plan, Institutional technology plan, and School Portfolio and Action Plan.
EDEL 603: Class debates, Presentation of Policy Issue.
EDEL 605: Cultural Climate Analysis, Teaching Analysis.
EDUC 606 (Also taken by MSPED students): Jigsaw Report, Research Project Plan, Case History Report.
EDEL 607: Research project.
EDEL 609: Professional Development (PD) Action Plan and Report, Action Research Project Plan and Report.
SPED 601: Disability Awareness Project, Disability in the News, Article Review.
SPED 602: Strategy Paper, Case study and IEP.
SPED 603: Methods and Materials Project.
SPED 605: Article Review; Disability Paper
SPED 607: Articles Summary
SPED 610: Community Involvement Literature Review
SPED 611: Case Summary Report.
SPED 612: Professional Articles Review
Many school-based individuals assist the unit in developing our candidates. All B.Ed. and diploma candidates have mentors. A mentor is a classroom teacher who has agreed to share their learners and time in order for the teacher candidate to have as nearly a realistic teaching situation as possible. Principals must recommend a teacher to be a mentor, using a provided list of qualifications, identifying those teachers who have demonstrated skills in teaching, supervisory knowledge and a desire to be a part of the teacher preparation process. The recommended teacher must then request for the assignment and be approved by the coordinator of the program.
The mentor in the MEL program is generally referred by the candidate to the program coordinator and must be able to support the intern throughout the individualized plan that the intern develops. In preparation for the task, the role and responsibilities are discussed (MEL Handbook, p. 15) and the mentor must sign an agreement to support the intern (MEL Handbook, pp. 29, 51) Another requirements is that the mentor complete a program feedback form that is then reviewed by the program coordinator and the program faculty (MEL Handbook, pp. 36, 45-49).
In the MSPED program, the supervising teachers credential/background must match the licensure area for which the candidate is preparing. MSPED Handbook, p.3. Mentor Teacher (for candidates who already teach in an appropriate setting in school) A mentor teacher is the special education teacher who has agreed to mentor the candidate. This teacher has completed at least three years of successful teaching. The mentor teacher has been recommended by the school principal and has been requested for the assignment because of demonstrated skills in teaching, supervisory knowledge and a desire to be a part of the teacher preparation process.
The supervising teachers credential/background must match the licensure area for which the candidate is preparing. MSPED Handbook, p.3. Mentor Teacher (for candidates who already teach in an appropriate setting in school). A mentor teacher is the special education teacher who has agreed to mentor the candidate. This teacher has completed at least three years of successful teaching. The mentor teacher has been recommended by the school principal and has been requested for the assignment because of demonstrated skills in teaching, supervisory knowledge and a desire to be a part of the teacher preparation process.