FIELD EXPERIENCE AND STUDENT TEACHING
- Field Experience Prior to Student Teaching
- Student Teaching
- General Policies for the Placement of Student Teachers
- Policy for Placement of Student Teachers in International/Other-culture Settings
- Procedure for Requesting an Exception to Student Teaching Placement Policies
Field Experience Prior to Student Teaching
Prior to student teaching, all teacher education candidates participate in extensive field-based experiences in which they have opportunities to apply the knowledge and skills gained from education courses taken. Field experiences begin early in the program and continue as an integral part of education courses. The integration of field experience enhances the problem-solving focus of the program of study. The meaningful opportunities for applying and testing newly-acquired learning is extremely valuable in bridging the gap between theory and practice. In order to accommodate both district and State requirements of public safety, students are required to have a background clearance check performed through the Ohio Bureau of Investigation and Identification (BCI&I). The results of the check will be kept in department files as documentation for admission to schools. Students will be given directions about cost and how best to obtain the necessary documentation at the beginning of each semester. Once the clearance report is obtained, it will be good until the student begins their senior year, at which time they will need to update the documentation as a requirement for licensure.
Placement of candidates in field experiences is arranged collaboratively with the schools. Over the course of the field experience placements, candidates will have exposure to students at different grade levels and from diverse backgrounds and abilities.
The student teaching experience is the culminating experience for Teacher Education candidates. During the required period of student teaching, the candidate has the opportunity to assume all major teaching responsibilities on a full-time basis. Recently the Ohio Board of Regents have required Teacher Preparation Institutions to have their teacher candidates complete a Teacher Performance Assessment (referred to as ed TPA). Information is provided to candidates early in the student teaching semester. Student teaching generally earns 12 semester hours of credit.
Application for permission to student teach must be made in the Spring Semester of the junior year. Applications for student teaching are distributed to junior candidates at an annual spring meeting, or picked up from the Director of Student Teaching. Criteria for permission to student teach are cited in Chapter 1.
All education methods courses offered must be completed prior to full-time student teaching and must be passed with a grade of C- or higher. Refer to program advising sheets for methods courses required for each teaching field.
General Policies for the Placement of Student Teachers
As a general policy, candidates seeking licensure to teach from Wittenberg University must student teach under the direct instruction and supervision of the Wittenberg Education Department in the Springfield/Clark County area. Placing student teachers in easily accessible schools allows the Education Department maximum opportunity to meet the following responsibilities:
- Provide student teachers a coherent total program of teacher preparation in which courses and clinical/field experiences are consistent with and related with each other.
- Provide student teachers a university supervisor who knows the program well enough to extend, focus, or otherwise supplement what is learned in other education courses
- Provide a student teaching placement congruent with the candidate's needs, interests and qualifications.
- Cultivate placements in the schools by working with cooperating teachers, developing in them an understanding of the total Wittenberg program of pre-service teacher education and an awareness of how they can be a part of it.
- Ongoing evaluation and development of the Teacher Education Program by having department members in regular contact with the concerns of the schools, which provide placements for Wittenberg candidates.
- Allow entry into the teaching profession of only those pre-service teachers whom it knows to be truly competent, as assessed through a series of direct contacts in all courses but particularly in student teaching.
- Support the university supervisor who must act as interpreter and implementer of the overall program.
- Maintain accountability to the State of Ohio for implementing and maintaining the program of teacher education, characterized by planned field experiences under the direct supervision of the Education Department, which the State has approved.
Policy for Placement of Student Teachers in International or Other-Cultural Settings
On a limited basis, Wittenberg's Education Department encourages student teaching in international and/or other-cultural settings. Candidates should consult with departmental advisors, the Director of Student Teaching and the Director of Teacher Licensure.
The following placement criteria are based on the premise that teaching in an international setting requires an additional amount of professional and personal competence beyond that customarily required in the traditional student teaching experience. The following criteria have been established with the goal of assuring that candidates selected for student teaching in international settings display strong professional competence and personal maturity.
Candidates will demonstrate evidence of global and regional understanding by completing:
- Foreign language at the 112 level of competence;
- Research, course study or travel to indicate awareness of other cultures, societies and histories.
Candidates will demonstrate evidence of professional and personal competence through the following:
- Completion of the same course requirements and procedures as specified for approval for on-campus student teaching;
- GPA of 3.0 in methods courses and 2.75 in all university work; and,
- Approval by the Education Department and recommendation by the candidate's major department for those candidates whose teaching field is a major other than education.
NOTE: Approval for placement does not guarantee that a student teaching experience can be arranged. Final placement arrangements are contingent on the approval of the host school and availability of placement sites.
- Reasons why an exception is being requested.
- A description of the alternative placement desired.
- A statement setting forth how the Education Department might fulfill its responsibilities (see General Policies section in this chapter) for the proposed alternative.
The petition should be prepared and submitted to the Director of Student Teaching prior to or at the time that applications for permission to student teach are due (i.e. early in the Spring Semester preceding the academic year in which the candidate plans to student teach.)
The Education Department will notify the candidate in writing as soon as possible.