Part III: Evidence for Meeting Each Standard

Standard Three: Field Experiences and Clinical Practice

Element Two: Design, Implementation, and Evaluation of Field Experiences and Clinical Practice

Field experiences are integral components of the programs for initial certification of teachers providing teacher candidates with opportunities to apply their knowledge, skills, and dispositions in a variety of settings appropriate to the content and level of their program. The field experience allows candidates to extend the philosophies of our conceptual framework from theory into practice.

All P-12 school faculty members who mentor Pacific University teacher candidates hold credentials that qualify them to teach in their field. All faculty mentor teachers are rated as Highly Qualified professionals in their teaching area and meet TSPC standards for serving as a mentor.

In the past, we relied on the school district administrators to verify the licensure for the area the teachers will mentor. We have instituted a new procedure whereby we review their résumé and verify for ourselves that they hold the necessary licensure and qualifications.

As required by TSPC, all mentors have a minimum of two years of teaching experience in their field. In most cases, the school faculty mentors are very experienced with more than a decade of teaching experience. We often seek to use previous COE graduates to serve as mentor teachers to assure that they understand our procedures and expectations, and to be confident that the philosophies of our conceptual framework are in practice in the classroom.

All candidates complete practica in P-12 public schools where they have an opportunity to apply and reflect on the knowledge, skills, and dispositions embodied in University, state, and national standards. Teacher candidates work with exemplary mentors who provide multiple opportunities for candidates to connect theory and practice as they develop their professional skills. The school-based experiences are sufficiently extensive and intensive for candidates to demonstrate proficiencies in the professional roles of a teacher.

Table 3.2.1
Overview of Field Experiences and Clinical Practice by COE Program

Program
Field Experiences
(Observation and/or Practicum)
Clinical Practice
(Student Teaching or
Internship)
Total Hours required by COE
MAT/5th Year Two 1-credit practicum placements with a minimum of 45 hours each (in practice, usually 128 hours). Student teaching full-time for a minimum of 15 weeks, usually in two different authorization placements Minimum of 690 hours. Most complete 900+ hours
MAT/Flex Two 1-credit practicum placements with a minimum of 45 hours each Student teaching full-time for a minimum of 15 weeks, usually in two different authorization placements Minimum of 690 hours. Most complete 900+ hours
Undergraduate ECE/Elem Two 1-credit practicum placements with a minimum of 45 hours each Student teaching full-time for a minimum of 15 weeks, usually in two different authorization placements Minimum of 690 hours. Most complete 800+ hours
SpEd –Internship Two 1-credit practica and
12 hours observation
Student teaching full-time for at least 1 academic semester (18 weeks) Minimum of 732 hours. Most complete 1500+ hours.
SpEd – Traditional Two 2-credit practica and
12 hours observation
Student teaching full-time for 12 weeks Minimum of 672 hours. Most complete 700+ hours.
SpEd – Endorsement Only 12 hours of observation Student teaching practicum (minimum of 90 hours) Minimum of 102 hours
SpEd –Adding and authorization level One 2 credit practicum (minimum of 90 hours)   Minimum of 90 hours
Subject Area Endorsements, including Reading and ESOL One 2-credit practicum (minimum of 90 hours)   Minimum of 90 hours
Certificates Minimum of 90 hours   Minimum of 90 hours

Stages of Development During the Field Experience

The stages of responsibility increase during the practicum and then are further accelerated during the full-time student teaching. These responsibilities are clearly delineated in each candidate handbook.

Mentor Teacher Responsibilities

These are outlined in detail in the Mentor Teacher Handbook that is distributed to mentors and can also be found for each program at the Mentor Teachers Resources page of the COE website. Among other responsibilities, mentor teachers will:

Mentor Selection

Criteria and selection procedures reflect the importance of this person's role in educating teachers. School districts and university faculty collaborate in selection of mentor teachers. The following selection criteria have been reviewed and approved by the University's Education Consortium. The mentor teacher requirements include:

Evaluation of Mentors and Field Sites

As the candidates near completion of their student teaching placement, they are asked to provide an evaluation of their mentor teacher and field placement. Here, for example, is one set of results.

Table 3.2.2
Candidate Evaluation of Mentor Teacher
Forest Grove MAT/Flex/UG Students
2005-06, N = 113

Key: 1 = Strongly agree    2 = Agree    3 = Disagree    4 = Strongly disagree

Statement
Mean
1
2
3
4
1. My mentor provided me with encouragement and a constructive critique of my teaching
1.36
83
21
7
2
2. My mentor was effective at fostering open communication between the two of us.
1.35
83
21
8
1
3. I was able to share and discuss my lesson plans and daily objectives with my mentor before I taught the lessons.
1.42
77
26
8
2
4. My mentor was available to me when I needed him/her.
1.30
89
18
2
4
5. My mentor observed my teaching frequently enough to evaluate my performance accurately and fairly.
1.26
91
17
3
2
6. My mentor supported my efforts to become an effective teacher.
1.18
97
14
0
2

University Supervisor Responsibilities

The specific responsibilities of university supervisors are outlined in detail in the Handbook and can be found at the University Supervisor resource page on the COE website. The university supervisor serves as the liaison between the public schools and the University. The university supervisor will:

Selection and Evaluation of University Supervisors

University supervisors are selected from full- and part-time faculty, based on several factors: authorization level of previous license and experience; knowledge of content area; geographical location; and faculty load. All COE personnel who supervise field experiences have had a minimum of three years' teaching at one or more of the four authorization levels (early childhood, elementary, middle, high school) and hold, or are eligible to hold, a license appropriate to the authorization level being supervised. The supervision process is evaluated in several ways. Here, for example, is the data from the Forest Grove mentor teacher evaluation of university supervisors, which rates the supervisors and process very highly.

Table 3.2.3
Mentor Teacher Evaluation of University Supervision
Forest Grove MAT/Flex/UG Students
Key: 0 = Unable to judge   1 = Strongly agree   2 = Agree   3 = Disagree   4 = Strongly disagree

Statement
Mean Scores
2004-05
N = 83
2005-06
N = 99
2006-07
N = 35
1. I felt free to discuss the student teacher’s performance with the university supervisor.
1.30
1.17
1.17
2. The time spent by the university supervisor observing the student teacher was sufficient for evaluating performance.
1.51
1.54
1.74
3. The university supervisor provided constructive criticism and assistance to the student teacher.
1.33
1.29
1.34
4. The university supervisor demonstrated confidence in the student teacher.
1.41
1.14
1.37
5. The university supervisor encouraged the student teacher to use a variety of teaching methods.
1.28
1.11
1.43
6. The Student Teacher Mentor Handbook was useful.
1.75
1.48
1.83
7. The university provided me with adequate information about my role as Mentor Teacher.
1.41
1.46
1.51

Table 3.2.4 below is an evaluation of university supervisors done by the supervised candidates; again, they rate the supervisors and supervision process very highly.

Table 3.2.4
Candidate Evaluation of University Supervisor
Forest Grove MAT Fifth Year/UG/Flex Students
2005-06, N = 71
Key: 0 = Unable to judge    1 = Strongly agree    2 = Agree    3 = Disagree    4 = Strongly disagree

Statement
Mean
0
1
2
3
4
1. My university supervisor provided encouragement and a constructive critique of my teaching.
1.32
1
50
18
0
2
2. My university supervisor was effective at fostering open communication among herself/himself, my mentor teacher, and me.
1.35
0
50
18
2
1
3. I was able to share and discuss my lesson plans, objectives and student teaching experiences with my university supervisor as a part of each observation.
1.20
0
60
9
1
1
4. I felt free to communicate openly and honestly with my university supervisor.
1.28
3
52
10
5
1
5. My university supervisor observed my teaching frequently enough to evaluate my performance fairly and accurately.
1.20
1
58
10
1
1
6. My university supervisor supported my efforts to become an effective teacher.
1.17
0
60
10
1
0

Relationship to Conceptual Framework

The field experiences reflect the Unit’s conceptual framework and help candidates continue to develop the content, professional, and pedagogical knowledge, skills, and dispositions delineated in standards. The work sample evaluation, e.g., assures that students have the ability to establish a learning community, grow in cultural competence, develop student-centered classrooms, and use technology effectively to enhance learning while meeting the TSPC standards for an Initial Teaching License. These skills, knowledge and dispositions are further assessed in the Midplacement and Summary Student Teaching Evaluations. The Dispositions Procedures promote early action if any candidate exhibits dispositional issues. Faculty members have the opportunity to report concerns about dispositions following every course, and at any other time during the program, including student teaching. Candidates, mentors, and principals have the opportunity to evaluate the COE’s placement procedures, supervision, and candidate preparation following student teaching.

P-12 Diversity in Field Settings

Every effort is made to assure that our candidates have opportunities to work with students in diverse settings. Because we are committed to ensuring that our candidates are competent in meeting the needs of all students we place them in one or more settings that have at least one of the following components of diversity: ethnic or racial, socio-economic, migrant, English-as-a second language, and special needs. Because Oregon is emerging in its ethnic diversity we determined a range of diversity for each category in comparison to the state average. The Master Table: Field Placement Diversity Profile shows where each candidate was placed and the school’s diversity profile. Because our past practice was to place students in available schools we did not really know whether we were ensuring diverse placements. This Master Table on Field Placement information reflects the former practice. However, having completed these diversity profiles we can now ensure that each candidate has at least one diverse placement.

Technology in the Field Experiences

The field experience allows candidates to use technology to support teaching and enhance learning. As the use of technology is one of our significant conceptual framework themes, we have high expectations for candidates to display knowledge and skills at a level aligned with the NETS•T standards. Both the Work Sample Evaluation and Summary Student Teaching Evaluation focus on assessing knowledge and skills in this area. (See data in Tables 1.3.4 and 1.3.5.)