Teacher Education: Practical Experience
The Teacher Education program recognizes that hands-on work with students is a crucial component in learning to teach, and Seaver College teacher education candidates have many opportunities to interact with elementary students, middle school students, and high school students. In fact, one of the requirements for admission to the Teacher Education Program is to verify previous experience working with children and youth in church and school settings, as a tutor, and/or in service-learning projects. This requirement provides the faculty with some assurance that students entering the program have the experiences to make an informed choice to become teachers. Throughout the subject-matter coursework, faculty prepare students with in-depth applicable content for the classroom.
Each professional preparation course includes clinical experience hours in increasing amounts, so that by the time students are placed in their Teaching and Content Area Methods course (EDUC 510/520) they have completed at least 90 hours of fieldwork in schools. Besides confirming a student's commitment to becoming a teacher, this early classroom experience enriches the content of professional preparation courses as professors connect educational theory to students' observations and work in local school classrooms.
Specifics on students' clinical experiences follow:
- Introductory courses EDUC 461 and EDUC 462 each require 20 hours of observation in elementary or secondary schools.
- Literacy in the 21st Century (EDUC 463/464) requires 50 hours of clinical experience in the students' content areas (Clinical Experience 1 - EDUC 501).
- Teaching and Content Area Methods (EDUC 510/520) requires 160 hours clinical experience in specified curricular areas in a K-12 classroom.
- Advanced Teaching Methods (EDUC 530) is a semester-long full day student teaching experience including at least three weeks of complete takeover of teaching duties (Clinical Experience 3 - EDUC 531).
- One multiple subject assignment must be in an upper grade and one in a primary grade.
- One single subject assignment must be in a middle school classroom and one in a high school.
- Student teachers gain significant experience working with students in a variety of
grade levels and school settings, including students who are economically,
culturally, and linguistically diverse.