|Summary: The unit’s conceptual framework beings, “Together...” This is a concept that we believe and practice. Our external partners, including our school-based partners, are a vital part of the designing, implementing, and evaluating of the conceptual framework and all programs. The unit constantly looks for ways to integrate and share resources to support our candidates, and we highly value the input of our school-based partners in placing student teachers and interns.|
Education partners include administrators and teachers from our partner schools, faculty from other colleges that help prepare the candidates, former students, professionals from the Ministry of Education and the SEC, and representatives from partner institutions in other countries. All of these partners are important in designing, delivering, and evaluating the unit’s programs.
Field Experience Partners and Their Roles
|Education Partners Committee||Feedback on documents during twice-yearly meetings||Summary of data analysis sent to partners for reflection and feedback|
|Mentor teachers||Input collected following each semester of student teaching/internship||In-school mentors for QU candidates||Post-internship gathering to review process and documents|
|College supervisors|| |
Committee members representing all programs
Sub-groups responsible for draft documents (e.g., Handbooks and evaluation forms)
Approval of entire committee, program coordinators, and Dean before publication
|Assigned faculty members monitor candidate’s progress |
Collaborate with mentor teachers
Confer multiple times with candidate and mentor teacher
|Meet bi-weekly during ST/Internship semester to report on status of candidates |
Meet at the end of the ST/Internship semester to review all processes and products with intention to modify any part of the program deemed necessary for the improvement of the candidates’ experiences.
|Other college faculty||Review drafts of documents and suggest modifications during monthly Shaping-the-Future meetings.||Review documents at full-college meetings (Shaping the Future)|
The process for field experience placement differs according to program, but in each program our school and SEC partners are crucial to the process. For early field experiences at t the M.Ed. level, candidates research potential placements that mirror as closely as possible their career goals and then apply for the specific placement using the Internship Placement Form. The coordinator and faculty members are also in communication with partners to identify the best placements for candidates. The directors of the SEC’s Leadership Training suggest exemplary leaders to shadow and potential internship possibilities. In consultation with the candidate, the coordinator suggests potential matches for field experience and internship. It is the responsibility of the candidate to contact the administration of the school or education center, meet and talk with the administrator to see if this is a good match, and then to request the placement using the Internship Placement Form. After a placement is approved by the program coordinator, the candidate sets up a meeting which the candidate, the approved mentor, and the candidate’s advisor attend to ensure that all participants are aware of the roles and responsibilities of all parties.
Most diploma students are currently teaching in schools; therefore, most request an internship within their present schools, mentored by a more qualified or experienced teacher. Whether this is the case or whether a new context is required (such as for those who are not teacher and for our B.Ed. candidates), the coordinators work with school administrators to select exemplary mentor teachers for the candidates. Principals are aware of the qualifications for mentor teachers, and potential mentors must apply before they are selected for placement. A letter is sent to the principal of each school where a placement will be made to document the placement. The unit’s closest partners for the entire internship process are the school administrators and mentors. The agreement to host the interns is tri-directional with benefits for intern, administrator, and the QU College of Education. Communications between the internship coordinator and the administrator regarding the placement and the progress of the intern are held regularly throughout the semester. The discussions are then relayed to the program coordinator – and the supervisor if needed.
Through the current academic year (2009-2010), the unit was the owner-operator of an Independent primary school, which served as a professional development school for the unit. To focus more on providing quality for our candidates and less on school management, the unit decided to go to a more traditional model of professional development school partnerships. A proposal is currently in the final stages of approval and will be used to formalize professional development relationships with additional schools in the 2010-2011 academic year.
Part of the agreement with schools is that there will be a bi-directional sharing of professional development. Interns and student teachers are expected to be included in all professional development offered to other educators at the schools. QU faculty are also expected to provide a set amount of professional development to the schools to enrich the educators in the field. This agreement is formalized in the Professional Development School proposed agreement. The unit also invites school staff to participate in conferences hosted by the unit, such as the Annual Action Research Conference.