4d. Experiences Working with Diverse Students in P-12 Schools
1. How does the unit ensure that candidates develop and practice knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions related to diversity during their field experiences and clinical practice?
Our Field Placement Coordinator provides candidates with diverse field experience placements in consultation with SOE faculty and our school based partners. Through placement recommendations made by faculty, and through the monitoring of the Field Placement Coordinator, all candidates complete at least one student placement in a diverse P-12 setting. A diverse placement setting is defined using federal guidelines of a P-12 student population of 20% (or higher) on free or reduced lunch. Through this exposure in diverse settings, teacher candidates often report a paradigm shift as they relate their own personal classroom experiences with new situations. The experiences of teacher candidates in diverse school settings is recorded in the written journal reflections of various internships, community events such as Family Science Night, Candidate Assessment 11, or the student teaching reflective journal.
Knowledge, skills and dispositions related to diversity are systematically integrated into coursework and field experiences. Candidates are asked to reflect on a variety of topics, including diversity, during their clinical practices in both formative and summative ways. Throughout their program, candidates are required to reflect on feedback from peers, faculty, and school faculty.
2. How diverse are the P-12 students in the settings in which candidates participate in field experiences and clinical practice? Please complete Table 10.
Demographics on Sites for Clinical Practice in Initial and Advanced Programs
Click here to view Table 10.
3. How does the unit ensure that candidates use feedback from peers and supervisors to reflect on their skills in working with students from diverse groups?
During the clinical practice semester, the clinical faculty visits the candidate a minimum of five times. Clinical faculty, school faculty, and the student teacher have regular conferences where the candidate is encouraged to reflect on his/her effectiveness in addressing the needs of all students. Feedback regarding the candidate’s effectiveness (including effectiveness in providing accommodations for diverse students and students with special needs) is provided by the clinical faculty through the completion of written, narrative evaluations, and verbally in conferences. The midterm evaluation and the final evaluation contain a number of items dealing with the candidate’s abilities to address the needs of diverse students and students with special needs. The midterm and final evaluations are used to record and quantify a teacher candidate’s knowledge, skills and dispositions for affecting the learning of all students.
All candidates complete ED 488, a seminar class in conjunction with their student teaching experiences. During the seminar class meetings, candidates share with peers and the instructor ongoing issues from their teaching days. During this time, suggestions are made and thoughts are shared regarding one’s teaching effectiveness. Often, discussions revolve around P-12 students who may be having difficulties in learning and/or behaving appropriately. As part of the critical analysis of the problems, cultural differences and varying special needs of students are discussed.
The ED 488 seminar also provides the opportunity for teacher candidates to complete CA 10, the Teacher Work Sample. The Teacher Work Sample provides the teacher education candidate the opportunity to demonstrate his or her ability to plan, implement, and evaluate a standards-based unit of instruction for a specific class of students and to facilitate learning for all students. Teacher Candidates present this action-research project to their professor and peers as a way of demonstrating their understanding of how they affect the learning of all students.
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