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Field Experiences

A. Pre-Student Teaching Experiences

Professional laboratory experiences for the teacher preparation program of Catawba College are designed to provide for the examination of teaching through experiences in both campus-based laboratory/clinical settings and field-based classroom settings. The sequence of experiences begins in these settings through structured, guided observations of the teacher's role and function within the school culture; progresses through the introduction of broad instructional techniques and specific methodology within the controlled settings of micro or peer teaching and clinical practice; provides a year-long examination of theories of teaching and learning, learning environments, and professional practice; returns again to the "real world" for extended internships and culminates in student teaching. This sequence of experiences contributes significantly to the development of understandings and competencies needed for classroom teaching.

Objectives of professional laboratory experiences are to allow the prospective teacher an opportunity to:

  1. observe and participate in school activities;
  2. relate theories of education to actual teaching;
  3. experiment with various methods of teaching;
  4. examine materials and equipment of teaching;
  5. gain insight into methods of discipline and classroom management;
  6. learn about the organization of the school; and
  7. participate in record keeping and evaluation.

Field-based experiences begin and end the professional laboratory sequence. Observation and participation in a classroom begin in the freshman or sophomore year during EDUC 2000 Introduction to Teaching and Educational Technology. Students participate in guided observation under supervision of college instructors and classroom teachers.

During the junior year, the program weaves closely internship experiences with the study of theories of teaching and learning, learning environments, and professional practice. Prior to the professional semester, students spend a minimum of 30 hours in a school-based internship compatible with the licensure they are seeking. They tutor students, teach large and small groups, and perform teacher assistant duties assigned by the classroom teacher. They are supervised jointly by a school-based and a college-based educator.

B. Student Teaching

During the senior year, students spend a semester in a student teaching assignment in a public school where they are closely supervised by a college supervisor and a cooperating teacher. During student teaching, they demonstrate competencies in every phase of the program related to teaching. Details of the student teaching experience are found in the Handbook for Supervision of Field Experiences.

Students are generally not allowed to take a course other than co-requisite EDUC 4500 Professional Leadership during the student teaching experience. Any exceptions to this policy must be approved by the Teacher Education Council. In order to be considered, the course must be scheduled after public school hours and the student must have maintained a 3.0 GPA.

Student teachers who are boarding on campus may request an adjustment to board fees during the semester they are student teaching. This form must be completed by the student teacher and returned to the Department of Teacher Education within five days of the first day of classes.