The unit and its school partners design, implement, and evaluate field experiences and clinical practice so that teacher candidates and other school professionals develop and demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions necessary to help all students learn.
3.1 Field experiences are an integral part of the teacher education program and crucial for enabling candidates to apply content and pedagogical knowledge to real learning environments. All components of the Conceptual Framework and all content standards and developmental standards for a candidate’s licensing area are applied in a well-designed sequence of field experiences, giving candidates experiences in an essential variety of grade levels and cultural environments. Field experiences early in the program (ED 295/296) give secondary education candidates contact with the local high school. Elementary candidates gain exposure to public school students at the University’s Thornhill Nature Preserve. Junior level field experiences for both elementary and secondary education candidates are linked to methods courses. The multiple field experiences described below ensure thorough applications of content and theory and serve as excellent preparation for student teaching. The Multicultural Practicum (ED 395) ensures that all candidates (in all programs) are immersed for 12 full days in a highly diverse school throughout the January term. A 14-week student teaching experience allows full immersion into a teaching and learning environment.
The program’s field experiences are the product of continuing collaborative efforts between the unit and program stakeholders. Huntington University’s close relationship with the local school corporations greatly enhances mutual understanding concerning field experiences. The unit works closely with teachers and principals and regularly invites them each semester to breakfast meetings of the Teacher Education Professional Advisory Council (TEPAC). TEPAC and other meetings each year continue to allow for fresh input from school personnel on the design of field experiences. School personnel have a good understanding of, and a sense of, active partnership in Huntington University field experience expectations, policies, and procedures. All major field experiences have handbooks and specific evaluation forms that guide candidates, university supervisors, cooperating teachers, and principals in expectations and evaluation criteria.
Huntington University, the only college in the county, enjoys a long-term, close relationship with the Huntington County Community School Corporation, the only school corporation in the county. Further, the city of Fort Wayne, the second-largest city in Indiana, is only about 25 miles away from the University, offering excellent experiences with a greater ethnic and cultural diversity than is available in most other schools in the area. The unit has clear understandings with the Huntington County Community School Corporation (HCCSC) for how the various field experiences are to be arranged. The proximity of the schools and the long standing collaboration between the University and HCCSC results in a large number of placements in the county schools, both for early experiences and for student teaching. This strong collaboration has progressed to the point that HCCSC no longer places any student teacher from Huntington University with a cooperating teacher until that teacher has been cleared by the unit’s Director of Teacher Education. In addition to the close relationships and many field experience opportunities with the Huntington schools, the unit also has positive relationships and an excellent reputation with the school corporations in surrounding counties. Although Fort Wayne schools host field experience candidates from a number of colleges and universities in the surrounding area, Huntington University candidates are always welcomed for student teaching, spring Junior Block practicum, and the January Multicultural Practicum described below. Fort Wayne Community School Corporation administrators have been guest speakers in the seminars connected with the Multicultural Practicum. This collaboration was instrumental in the hiring of Carolyn Sleet as an adjunct faculty in the fall of 2012 after she retired as an elementary principal in Fort Wayne. Ms. Sleet, as a woman of color, has for several years led seminars as part of the candidate experience in ED 395, Multicultural Practicum.
3.1b Huntington University contracts with 19 different school districts that are generally located in counties contiguous to Huntington County. These 19 districts represent approximately 154 elementary, middle, and high schools. Candidates teaching in these schools engage a range of cultural settings: rural, suburban and urban. The diversity represented is on a continuum from minimal diversity found in rural schools, which are predominantly white, English speakers to the multiple racial/ethnic-mix found in Fort Wayne schools. Fort Wayne also provides an unusual degree of language diversity for a city of its size, with 79 languages represented in the school system.The HU Department of Education prides itself in the substantive practicum experiences offered to its teacher candidates. It is our goal, through Early Field Experiences, to have candidates who are confident of their teaching abilities prior to student teaching, and to have candidates after student teaching who consistently exhibit the capacity to positively impact P-12 student learning.
Elementary Education candidates, Elementary Education/Special Education, and Elementary Education/ENL candidates all experience a total of 296 hours of Early Field Experience in addition to 14 weeks of Student Teaching Experience. Elementary Education/Middle School candidates experience a total of 326 hours of Early Field Experience in addition to 14 weeks of Student Teaching Experience. Secondary Education candidates experience a total of 100 hours of Early Field Experience in addition to 14 weeks of Student Teaching Experience.
The designated field experience courses are described below:
- ED 295 Sophomore Practicum Elementary (30 hrs).This course normally occurs in either the fall or spring semester of the sophomore year. This experience is set at the Thornhill Nature Center. Candidates have the responsibility to present nature or literature based academic activities to various elementary groups. Their responsibilities can range from presenting skits to facilitating nature stations to small group instruction.
- ED 296 Sophomore Practicum Middle School & High School (30 hrs). This course normally occurs either in the fall or spring semester of the sophomore year. This early field experience occurs in a Middle or High School classroom aligned with the candidates’ content area (Math, Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, Health, and Physical Education). Candidates schedule two hours per-week over the course of the 15-week semester in the classroom. During this time they are required to observe classroom activities and interact with students/faculty.
- ED 311 Early Adolescent Curriculum and Methodology (30 hrs). This course normally occurs in the fall semester of the junior year and has an imbedded field experience. This early field experience occurs in a Middle School classroom aligned with the candidates’ content area (Math, Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, Health and Physical Education). Candidates schedule three hours per-week over the course of a ten week period in the classroom and are required to manage classroom activities, interact with students/faculty and deliver lessons in their content area.
- ED 397 Junior Block Practicum I (80 hrs). This course normally occurs during the final 4 weeks of the fall semester of the junior year. It is an extensive, four-week, every day, all morning, field experience in a suburban/rural K-5 classroom. Candidates are responsible for classroom activities, management, and lesson delivery based on methods classes (Reading, Social Studies, & Language Arts) taught in the first portion of the semester.
- SE 397 Special Ed. Junior Block Practicum (80 hrs). This course normally occurs during the final 4 weeks of the spring semester of the junior year. It is an extensive, four-week, every day, all morning, field experience in an urban Special Education K-5 classroom.
- ED 398 Junior Block Practicum II (80 hrs). This course normally occurs during the final 4 weeks of the spring semester of the junior year. It is an extensive, four-week, every day, all morning, field experience in an urban K-5 classroom. Candidates are responsible for classroom activities, management, and lesson delivery based on methods (Differentiated Instruction, Science, & Math) classes taught in the first portion of the semester.
- ED 316 Early Childhood Methods and Materials (10 hrs). This course normally occurs in the spring semester of the junior year. This early field experience is imbedded within the overall coursework. Besides observing in an early elementary setting, the field time offers the opportunity for candidates to plan and implement lessons, as well as reinforce techniques learned in the body of the course.
- ED 395 Multicultural Practicum (96 hrs). This course normally occurs in the January-term of the junior year. This early field experience occurs in a very diverse urban setting. It is an immersion experience where candidates are working in classrooms from the start to the end of the academic day, over a two-and-a-half week period. During this time, they are required to manage classroom activities and interact with students and faculty. In addition, they attend seminars designed specifically to improve candidates’ cultural competency.
- ED 410 Secondary Curriculum and Methodology (40 hrs). This course normally occurs in the fall semester of the senior year. This course is designed as the final secondary field experience before student teaching. Candidates are placed in High School classrooms for a period of six weeks every day during the middle portion of the semester. During this time they are required to manage classroom activities, interact with students/faculty and deliver lessons in their content area. This field placement is supported by ongoing seminars.
- ED 450 Student Teaching in Elementary Schools (14 weeks). This course occurs in the candidates’ senior year for the equivalent of fourteen weeks. As the final field experience prior to graduation, the candidates are expected to function fully as a classroom teacher. Their responsibilities include planning and implementation of all the lessons occurring during the academic day and management of students during the course of various daily activities. During this time, candidates are supervised by cooperating teachers and university supervisors.
- ED 450 Student Teaching in Elementary Schools (7 weeks) (For Elementary/Special Education Dual Licensure candidates). This course normally occurs in the candidates’ senior year for the equivalent of seven weeks. As the final field experience prior to graduating, the candidates are expected to function fully as a classroom teacher. Their responsibilities include planning and implementation of all the lessons occurring during the academic day and management of students during the course of various daily activities. During this time candidates are supervised by cooperating teachers and university supervisors. .
- SE 450 Student Teaching in Special Education (7 weeks). This course normally occurs in the candidates’ senior year for the equivalent of seven weeks. Candidates fulfill all of the requirements summarized in ED 450, but in a Special Education setting. The two seven week experiences are consecutive experiences scheduled within the same semester.
- ED 460 Student Teaching in Secondary Schools (14 weeks). This course normally occurs in the candidates’ senior year for the equivalent of fourteen weeks. As the final field experience prior to graduating, the candidates are expected to function fully as a classroom teacher. Their responsibilities include planning and implementation of all the lessons occurring during the academic day and management of students during the course of various daily activities. During this time candidates are supervised by cooperating teachers and university supervisors.
3.2.b The above field experiences have clearly stated objectives related to candidates’ knowledge, skills, and professional dispositions outlined in the Conceptual Framework and in state, national, and professional standards. Candidate performance in these field experiences are evaluated by a comprehensive assessment system which aggregates data on both teaching performance and professional dispositions and uses the data to inform the unit on program quality and changes needed for program improvement.
Application of pedagogical knowledge is a key component of the M.Ed. program as well. The M.Ed. candidates, as practicing teachers in the schools every day, have unlimited access to student learning data in their own classrooms (see admission requirements). Many course activities focus on student learning with the expectation that candidates use their own classrooms as a daily laboratory. Journals, course projects, and the action research project comprise the program’s regular assessment of candidates’ effect on student learning (See sample research project,). Although the M.Ed. program refreshes theory and skills for practicing teachers, it also updates candidates with newer theories and gives them a chance to look at their teaching with renewed reflectivity. Although they do not need separate field experiences to expose them to real classrooms, candidates in the M.Ed. program are pushed to take new pedagogical knowledge to their familiar teaching environments and to apply new theories to familiar curriculum materials and school structures. NBPTS Core Propositions are used to assess candidate progress through the M.Ed. program in areas such as commitment to students, pedagogical content knowledge, managing student learning, thinking systematically, and collaborating professionally. Course assignments and the Action Research Project also require candidates to apply their knowledge to better understanding family and community contexts and making sure all students can learn.
The M.Ed. program is also responsive to data connected with the undergraduate program and the needs of the local schools. For example, at the time the M.Ed. program was launched, undergraduate program completers and local school administrators were indicating the need for more emphasis on classroom management (see syllabus). The unit was able to offer new courses on this topic at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. The action research project conducted in M.Ed. candidates’ own classrooms provides ongoing linkages between the academic program and the real world of daily classroom teaching.
3.3.a.1 Affiliation Agreement with school corporations
3.3.a.2 School Corporation Listing
3.3.a.3 Mid-term Evaluation
3.3.a.4 Sample Pre-Clinical Field Experience Letter
3.3.a.5 Meet Your Coop invitation
3.3.a.6 Student Teaching Banquet Agenda
3.3.a.7 Student Teaching Banquet Invitation
3.3.a.8 Program Evaluation Survey (survey monkey)
3.3.a.9 Program Evaluation Report (Student Teaching Experience 2011-2012)
3.3.a.10 Thornhill Curriculum
(1.3.c.1) Lesson Evaluation Form
3.3.b.1 Candidate Handbook – Pages 12-15
3.3.b.2 Student Teaching Handbook – Pages 11-14
3.3.b.3 Student Teaching Orientation Application packet
(3.3.a.2) School Corporation Placement Chart
3.3.c.1 Sample Letters requesting placements for school corporations
3.3.d.1 Student Teaching Handbook - pages 23 – 29
3.3.d.2 Student Self-Evaluation Survey (exit survey)
3.3.d.3 HU Supervisor Checklist for field experience
(1.3.i.2) Biennial Report Section 4, part A-questions 2,4,5 and part B-question 5
(1.3.i.2) Biennial Report Section 5, question 5
(3.3.a.5) Meet Your Coop Invitation
(3.3.a.7) Student Teacher Banquet Invitation
3.3.e.1 Student Teaching Handbook
3.3.e.2 Fall 2011 Junior Block Handbook
3.3.e.3 Spring 2012 Junior Block Handbook
3.3.e.4 Multicultural Handbook
3.3.e.5 TEPAC Agenda
3.3.e.6 TEPAC minutes
(I.5.b.1) Syllabi (295, 296, 410, 320, 311)
(2.3.d.6) Data chart from online evaluations
(1.3.d.2) Updated SPA Information (11-12)
(1.3.e.3) Dispositional Survey
(1.3.c.1) Lesson Evaluation
(1.3.c.2) Field Practicum Final Evaluation
(1.3.f.2) Sample Student Disposition report
(1.3.f.1) Dispositional Survey Results
(3.3.a.8) Program Evaluation Survey
(1.3.d.2) Updated SPA data (assessment 4, 5, 6, and 7)
(1.3.f.1) Dispositional Survey Results
(3.3.a.9) Program Survey Results