STANDARD 3. FIELD EXPERIENCES AND CLINICAL PRACTICE
STANDARD 3. FIELD EXPERIENCES AND CLINICAL PRACTICE
The unit and its school partners design, implement, and evaluate field experiences and clinical practice so that teacher candidates and other school personnel develop and demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to help all students learn.
Field experiences and clinical practice are considered to be an integral and powerful component of teacher education programs. These field-based experiences are playing a more and more significant role in our professional education courses.
3a. Collaboration Between Unit and School Partners
3a.1. Unit's Partners
3a.1.1 Initial Programs
The following partners work with the unitin the design, delivery, and evaluation of field and clinical experiences in initial programs (Click on exhibit links to explore the websites of our partners):
3a.1.2 Advanced Programs
Resident Teacher Programs Schools (all Title I Schools). Advanced programs in Elementary Education (E-Exhibit 3a.1.2.1) , General Studies: Middle Level (E-Exhibit 3a.1.1.2) and Special Education (E-Exhibit 3a.1.2.3) offer a year-long mentored experience in P-12 schools. During the 2005-2006 school year, the Special Education Resident Teacher Program had partnerships with eleven school districts across the state of North Dakota.To explore the websites of partner schools in the Elementary Education and Middle Level Education Resident Teacher programs, click on the links below:
Elementary Education School Sites
Middle Level Education School Site
Advanced program candidates who are not candidates in the Resident Teacher Programs generally complete clinical experiences in their own classrooms during the action research course.
3a.2. Partner Contributions
Teacher Talk has been an on-going collaboration between the university and local school districts and early childhood sites since fall 2000. Cooperating teachers and faculty have worked together over the last several years to discuss and revise various observation report forms--such as the Early, Mid-Term, and Final Student Teaching Observation Reports as well as the Professional Dispositions Report. Teacher Education faculty have led discussions on the conceptual framework and collaborated with cooperating teachers to integrate it throughout the field materials. Past agendas and evaluations provide examples of topics that have been discussed and acted upon by the Teacher Talk participants (E-exhibit 3a.2.1).
The Teacher Education Committee (TEC) sets policies and procedures for the unit such as updating the Student Review Committee guidelines, expanding the methods field experience hours from 30 to 60, etc. with input from all constituencies. Past agendas and minutes provide examples of topics that have been discussed and acted upon by the Teacher Education Committee (E-Exhibit 3a.2.2). The Associate Dean is responsible for assuring the implementation of any actions approved by the TEC.
The Field Experience and Clinical Practice Committee identified a need for teacher candidates to receive more experience working in settings which included students with disabilities and exceptionalities as well as in more culturally diverse settings. Beginning fall 2007, each program area will have an assigned Special Educator to team teach when appropriate and to serve as a resource. The committee identified a set of expectations for all teacher candidates to fulfill in field experiences and clinical practices that includes instruction of Universal Design for Learning (Exhibit 3a.2.3) and plans are being made for students to complete a 3-day experience in schools on the Turtle Mountain Chippewa Reservation (E-exhibit 3a.2.4 TMC Schools & 3a.2.5 Ojibwa School) beginning Fall 2008.
3a.3 Student Teacher and Internship Placements
The Field Placement Office manages all field experience and student teaching placement assignments by using predetermined and prearranged classrooms and buildings and by maintaining close communication with local and regional school districts and building principals.
3a.3.1 Initial Programs
The Field Placement Office distributes classroom teacher sign-up surveys to all cooperating schools around the area each fall during district workshop days. This process allows teachers to indicate personal preferences for levels of involvement with field students and receives principal approval before being forwarded to the Director of Field Placement (E-Exhibit 3a.3.1.1). Teacher Education has established affiliation agreements with all districts where students are placed (Exhibit 3a.3.1.2).
The Teacher Education data manager maintains an up-to-date data set of cooperating teachers who agree to work with various levels of field experience students and student teachers which includes email addresses for easy contact when establishing and confirming field placements. This data base also records all field experience and student teaching assignments, tracking student name, identification information, semester, level of field experience, school, grade level, and cooperating teacher assigned.
3a.3.2 Advanced Programs
The Resident Teacher Program interns are placed within the partner schools in Grand Forks Public Schools: Carl Ben Eielson Elementary, Lake Agassiz Elementary, Phoenix Elementary, and Valley Middle School. Candidates who are completing master's degrees in education outside of the Resident Teacher Program complete their practicum in the schools and classrooms in which the candidates work.
Educational Leadership, Communication Sciences and Disorders and the School Counseling programs place their candidates in selected sites across the state and the nation in cooperation with district administrators.
3a.4. Unit and School Partners Sharing Expertise
During field experiences, cooperating teachers and course instructors discuss the candidates' observations of teaching methods, classroom management, lesson planning, integrating technology, and interactions with the students and teachers. Field students write reflections about their experiences and receive feedback from their instructors.
Teacher candidates attend many of the districts' professional development activities with their cooperating teachers (workshops, in-services, staff meetings, and other professional development opportunities presented by the school districts and/or the university). Through Teacher Talk meetings, twice each semester, cooperating teachers and university faculty share expertise on various topics, discuss ways to improve the overall experience of teacher candidates in the field as well as revise observation and evaluation techniques and instruments to provide more effective feedback to the candidates.
The UND faculty present professional development sessions for the P-12 school partners upon request. Teachers from P-12 sites teach courses at the University which allows them to bring first-hand classroom experiences. They also participate in on-campus meetings to discuss field experience and student teaching expectations to enhance candidate experiences in the classrooms. The Supervision of Student Teaching course, required in North Dakota, is offered on campus and online and supervision workshops in P-12 sites provide opportunities for cooperating teachers and supervisors to become better equipped to support candidates' learning (Exhibit 3a.4.1). The Associate Dean of Teacher Education is a member of the Grand Forks Public School's Professional Development Committee (Exhibit 3a.4.2) that oversees professional development opportunities for GFPS teachers and the Red River Valley Education Cooperative (E-exhibit 3a.4.3) a regional group working to more efficiently and effectively use existing resources to meet the needs of students, staff and communities in the Red River Valley.
3b. Design, Implementation, and Evaluation of Field Experiences
3b.1. Required Field Experiences and Clinical Practices
3b.1.1 Initial Programs
Table 3b.1.1.1 details all field experience/student teaching hourly and/or weekly requirements. All candidates in the initial teacher preparation program complete a series of field experiences prior to student teaching as described in the Field Experience Handbook (E-exhibit 3b.1.1.2). The Teacher Education Committee approved an increase in the methods' field experience requirement from 30 to 60 hours to begin fall 2007.
Effective fall 2007, all freshmen admitted to UND who plan to obtain teacher certification will need to complete 30 hours of volunteer/service through a partnership with the UND Office of Civic Leadership. Fifteen hours will be completed in identified diverse settings (multicultural, literacy, elderly, poverty, special needs, etc.). The remaining 15 hours can be fulfilled in a variety of ways (E-exhibit 3b.1.1.3).
All initial preparation program candidates complete a 16-credit, full semester, full time student teaching experience, with the exception of Business and Technology Education majors who complete a minimum of 10 credits. Early Childhood/Elementary Education double majors complete two semesters of student teaching--10 weeks in a pre-school setting and 16 weeks in a primary classroom. The Student Teaching Handbook provides details for student teaching (E-exhibit 126.96.36.199)
3b.1.2 Advanced Programs
The Resident Teacher Programs requires candidates to have full responsibility for their own classrooms for an entire school year. In Elementary Education, an in-house mentor works with up to three candidates during this time. In Middle Level, a University mentor works with up to 4 candidates. For the Special Education program, please refer to the CEC SPA report. Candidates in advanced programs who are not Resident Teachers generally complete a practicum in their own classrooms as part of an action research course.
Candidates in Communication Sciences and Disorders are involved in numerous field experiences that are hierarchical in nature. Their final practicum requires 10 full weeks in a school setting. The program preparing school counselors also is heavily field based. Candidates participate in two separate formalized field experiences which include a practicum for 4 credits and a major internship for 6 credits. During the internship, the candidates complete a minimum of 450 clock hours during which time they perform the duties of a school counselor under supervision engaging in individual and group counseling, classroom guidance, testing consultation, coordination of services, and program planning. These experiences take place in both elementary and secondary schools. Candidates in Educational Leadership seeking licensure as principals must complete a practicum as part of their program.
3b.2 Candidates’ Demonstration of Proficiencies
Candidates are expected to apply, integrate, and put into practice the theories learned in their course work. Multiple field experiences and practicums provide candidates with a variety of opportunities to plan, teach and receive feedback on lessons and units that address to program, professional, and state standards. The unit assesses candidate proficiency in initial programs through the Professional Dispositions Report (E-exhibit 3b.2.1) and Student Teaching Observation Reports (E-exhibits 3b.2.2, 3b.2.3, 3b.2.4) which are developed around the unit's conceptual framework and INTASC principles and align with program standards. The Phase III student teacher professional portfolio review provides another demonstration of candidate proficiency (E-exhibit 3b.2.5). Although this review process is being modified, the final portfolio review will remain an important process allowing candidates to demonstrate their proficiencies (E-exhibit 3b.2.6). A sample of candidates’ Phase III portfolios from the fall of 2007 is available in the Hard Copy Exhibit room.
For Resident Teachers in advanced programs, university and on-site mentors monitor growth and provide continuous feedback. Other candidates have an opportunity to study and improve their practice through an action research course completed as part of their masters’ coursework (E-exhibit 3b.2.7). Those in programs preparing other professionals have opportunities to work as counselors, speech pathologists, and educational leaders in real-life settings and receive feedback that helps them develop the proficiencies necessary for the roles they will hold.
3b.3 Candidates Technology Use
Candidates in initial programs demonstrate proficiency in technology as a program requirement. Since fall 2005, all candidates have been required to purchase and use LiveText, the teacher education course management system. Candidates in field experience and clinical practice submit their work which includes lesson plans using PowerPoint, WebQuest, I-Movies, video-streaming, etc. to course instructors, classroom teachers and university faculty who provide feedback electronically throughout each semester. Candidates in Early Childhood, Elementary and Middle Level Childhood Education must submit at least one lesson plan that integrates technology during their methods semester (E-exhibit 3b.3.1). Technology integration expectations and opportunities for teacher candidates are reviewed and updated through presentations in Senior Seminar and are assessed by cooperating teachers and university supervisors on the Mid-Term and Final Observation Reports during the student teaching semester.
3b.4 Criteria Used in the Selection of School-based Faculty
3b.4.1 Initial Programs
Identification of the clinical faculty is a joint process which involves classroom teachers, school administrators, and university faculty as well as recently retired teachers and administrators. The teacher education program partners with highly qualified professional educators to serve as cooperating teachers and supervisors in the field. Criteria for cooperating teachers who host student teachers as stipulated in the North Dakota Century Code include a minimum of three years of teaching experience; a recommendation from the building principal; and completion of a course or equivalent in-service training in supervision offered through the Teaching and Learning Department or another university within the state (E-exhibit 3b.4.1.1). The Cooperating Teacher and University Supervisor web page provides resources and support (E-exhibit 3b.4.1.2)
Local student teachers are supervised by trained professionals comprised of university faculty as well as recently retired school administrators and master teachers. They attend supervisor workshops each semester and work closely with the Director of Field Placement. Student teachers who go beyond the local area are supervised by professionals provided by universities in the regions of placement, or recommended by the school district administration where student teachers are assigned. All supervisors receive a supervisor packet which includes a student teaching handbook with general guidelines, paperwork on each student teacher, and supportive resources (Hard Copy Exhibit 3b.4.1.1).
3b.4.2 Advanced Programs
The mentors for the resident teachers in the Elementary Education and General Studies Middle Level Education programs are selected jointly by the site principals and other Resident Teacher Mentors. The mentors are experienced master teachers, many of whom were former resident teachers themselves. The University Supervisor and Mentor Teacher monitor the professional dispositions of Resident Teachers through regular communication and collaboration. The National Board Professional Teaching Standards serve as a guide for tracking appropriate attitude and behaviors.
3b.5 Preparation for School-based Clinical Faculty
The Director of Field Placement teaches a Supervision of Student Teaching course that is offered online and on campus which prepares cooperating teachers and university supervisors to work with teacher candidates. Local supervisors attend an orientation each semester to provide resources and support and to discuss supervision issues and/or concerns with colleagues (E-exhibit 3b.5.1). Using the ND guidelines, out-of-area cooperating teachers and supervisors are selected through collaboration with school districts and university administrators. Each is given a supervision packet (Hard Copy Exhibit 3b.4.1.1).
3b.6. Clinical Faculty Provide Continuous Support
3b.6.1 Initial Programs
The Director of Field Placement contacts teacher candidates on a regular basis through Senior Seminar and by communicating through a listserv system. Candidates also post questions and/or comments about their experiences on the discussion threads through Blackboard which allows candidates to communicate with other candidates as well. The Student Teacher web site provides ongoing support that is accessible to candidates placed throughout the states and abroad (E-exhibit 3b.6.1.1). University Faculty members support student teaching candidates by presenting to them in Senior Seminar and attending portfolio reviews and student teacher celebration.
Clinical Faculty, Cooperating Teachers and University Supervisors monitor and offer feedback to candidates on a continuous basis. Supervisors meet with student teachers formally at least four times throughout the semester and informally as needed to support the candidate (E-exhibit 3b.6.1.2). Field experience candidates are supported by the P-12 teachers to whom they are assigned. In addition, Early Childhood and Elementary Education faculty operate as liaisons during the methods semesters to ensure a positive experience for all.
3b.6.2 Advanced Programs
Resident Teacher Mentors provide ongoing support for the interns throughout their first year of teaching. All graduates have an opportunity to complete follow-up surveys to provide meaningful feedback to the Communication Sciences and Disorders, and Counseling programs. The students' responses inform the programs, guide discussions, and aid in making decisions for improvements and enhancements to the unit.
3c. Candidates' development and demonstration of knowledge, skills, and dispositions
3c.1 Candidate Eligibility and Success
All candidates who meet the student teaching requirements are eligible to student teach. Requirements include receiving approval of Program and General Education Requirement course completion, maintaining a minimum 2.75 cumulative grade point average, satisfying all incompletes, maintaining a 3.0 in all teacher education courses, successfully completing Phase 2 Portfolio Review, taking Praxis II by the stipulated deadline, and being recommended by the teacher education advisor and faculty.
Upon completion of the application requirements, candidates meet individually with the Director of Field Placement to discuss placement options and to sign a Student Teaching Statement of Understanding (E-exhibit 3c.1.1). Candidates attend an orientation the semester prior to student teaching (E-exhibit 3c.1.2) to review their placement packets and to discuss guidelines for the upcoming student teaching semester. From the fall of 2006-the fall of 2007, 232 candidates were approved to student teach and 100% successfully completed the experience.
Candidates in advanced programs are expected to complete a field experience. Those teachers who already have a classroom may complete the practicum experience there while those who are not currently teaching must work with university faculty to find an appropriate practicum setting.
3c.2 Assessment of Field Experiences and Clinical Practice
The Teacher Education program considers field experience to be a critical component of the program. The admissions policy (E-exhibit 3c.2.1) requires each candidate to provide evidence of successful completion of an initial field experience which is documented through a Professional Dispositions Report submitted by the classroom teacher. All dispositions reports must be completed with a final rating of Acceptable for admissions and advancement in Teacher Education. If candidates receive a rating of Unacceptable in a field experience, they must complete another field experience successfully before advancing in the program and/or before applying to student teach (E-exhibit 3c.2.2). All candidates sign a Field Experience Statement of Understanding before beginning their initial field experience (E-exhibit 3c.2.3)
Previously, the professional portfolio assessment process consisted of Phase I, Phase II, and Phase III portfolios. At each phase, an assessment and review was conducted. Phase I was completed in conjunction with an introductory teacher education course. It introduced students to the conceptual framework, INTASC Principles, and general expectations relating their work to the program standards. Phase II was completed during the methods course. It expanded the emphasis on INTASC and required candidates to related specific work to specific INTASC Principles. Phase III was completed during student teaching. It required that artifacts demonstrate candidate proficiency in all ten INTASC Principles.
Beginning fall 2007, a capstone portfolio model will be implemented which will entail only one formal assessment and review during the teacher education experience. Initial information will be presented in introductory courses that will familiarize students with the conceptual framework and INTASC Principles. Further preparation for the capstone portfolio will be presented during the semester the candidates take methods courses. Small groups of candidates and faculty members will meet to discuss the INTASC Principles. Their peers will review student artifacts and how they relate to those principles. Students and faculty will provide feedback during the reviews. The capstone portfolio will be completed during the student teaching semester. It will demonstrate candidate proficiency in all of the INTASC Principles through selected artifacts and candidate presentation to a review team. The rubric for the capstone experience will be developed in the spring of 2008.
The assessment instruments for student teachers are aligned with the conceptual framework and INTASC Principles. Candidates receive a set of Early, Mid-Term, and Final Observational evaluations as well as Professional Dispositions reports from their cooperating teachers and university supervisors (E-exhibit 3b.6.1.2).
Should a concern arise regarding candidate proficiency or performance, an Action Plan for Professional Growth provides an avenue for the cooperating teacher and university supervisor to address concerns regarding the student teacher's development of specific professional skills (E-exhibit 3c.2.4).
Beginning in the fall of 2008, candidates in our advanced programs will be formally assessed using the Internship/Practicum Assessment Tool for Advanced Programs (E-exhibit 3c.2.5). Currently, candidates are assessed through action research projects.
3c.3 Time for Reflection and Feedback
Students are expected to reflect on each classroom visit in conjunction with their on-campus course. Instructors' requirements for format and delivery of reflections vary, but all candidates submit written reflections throughout their program whether through LiveText or in hard copy. Teacher candidates receive feedback from their cooperating teachers and university supervisors and are evaluated on their reflections with expectations they will think about their teaching, make accurate assessment of a lesson's effectiveness and the extent to which it achieved its goal, seek feedback from supervisors, mentors, and peers; plan improvement for future teaching based on feedback; and participate in professional development activities. The Student Teaching Handbook and Senior Seminar Syllabus provide guiding questions to assist candidates in developing meaningful, insightful reflective work (E-exhibit 3c.3.1).
Candidates in advanced programs reflect on and are provided feedback related to classroom practicums through action research projects.
Hard Copy Exhibits in Support of Standard 3
3b.4.1.1: Supervisor’s Information Packet