Standard 3: Elements 3

Standard Three: Field Experiences and Clinical Practice

Element Three: Candidate Development and Demonstration of Knowledge, Skills, and Dispositions

Candidates demonstrate mastery of content areas and pedagogical and professional knowledge before admission to and during clinical practice. – a significant transition point. Assessments used in clinical practice are linked to candidate competencies delineated in professional, state, and institutional standards, and indicate that candidates have a positive effect on student learning. Multiple assessment strategies are used to evaluate candidates’ performance and effect on student learning. Candidates, school faculty, and COE faculty jointly conduct assessments of candidate performance throughout clinical practice. Both field experiences and clinical practice allow time for reflection and include feedback from peers and clinical faculty. Candidates develop and demonstrate proficiencies that support learning by all students with diverse backgrounds and exceptionalities. (Master Table: Field Placement Diversity Profile)

Assessment of ITL Candidates During Field Experiences

Assessment of candidates occurs in multiple means and at various times during the school-based clinical experiences. These all serve to provide communication, clear expectations, and regular feedback to candidates. See Table 2.1.2 for the clarification of assessments that apply to each transition point.

  • Mentor teachers complete a formative assessment of the candidate during the pre-student teaching practicum. ( Candidate Field Experience Evaluation by Mentor Teacher (pdf)) As with all of our assessments, it is aligned with standards and our Conceptual Framework. If a mentor teacher determines that a candidate is not ready for student teaching, the candidate must complete an additional practicum prior to being placed in a classroom for student teaching.
  • During student teaching, mentor teachers provide ongoing informal feedback to the candidate on a nearly daily basis.
  • During student teaching, the Mentor Teacher, University Supervisor and candidate complete the Midplacement Student Teaching Evaluation Form (pdf). At a three-way conference near the middle of the student teaching experience, these evaluations are compared and both strengths and areas of concern are identified; this session also serves as the basis for setting goals for the remainder of the placement.
  • The University Supervisor, using a clinical supervision model, observes and meets with the candidate at least seven times during the semester (at least eight times for special education candidates), providing copies of field notes and suggestions to the candidate, mentor teacher, principal, and the candidate’s file.
  • During the student teaching placement the candidate develops, teaches and analyzes two work samples, which are scored by the university supervisor. These work samples reveal whether the candidate can plan and teach content appropriate to the learning needs of their students, can assess student learning, whether students learn under their care, and whether the candidate displays the knowledge, skills, and dispositions appropriate to the endorsement and authorization level of their license.
  • At the end of the student teaching semester, the mentor teacher and university supervisor complete the Student Teaching Summary Evaluation Form (pdf).

Commitment to P-12 Learning

Pacific is committed to producing teachers who have the skills to ensure that all students learn. This commitment is demonstrated through field experiences in which candidates design, implement, and assess instruction appropriate for all learners. In two required work samples, candidates conduct assessments through which they collect, record, and analyze data related to student learning over time. Student achievement gains are analyzed numerically and graphed by learning goal for an entire class. In addition, candidates write narratives in which they reflect upon the learning gains (or regression) of selected students. These data are used to reflect on how to improve student learning. In developing work samples,candidates demonstrate the ability to work with students with exceptionalities and students from diverse ethnic, racial, gender & socioeconomic groups along with their commitment to the belief that all students can learn. A summary of scores for these areas is available in Tables 1.4.1,1.6.2, and 4.1.3.

Candidate Reflection

ITL candidates have many opportunities to reflect upon the development of their knowledge, skills and dispositions throughout the field experience. Candidates develop, teach and analyze two work samples. Each work sample includes a minimum of ten lessons (minimum of eight in special education), with a brief reflection required on each daily lesson. In addition, the overall work sample requires a reflective self-assessment of the candidate’s teaching for the unit.

While in their student teaching field experience, candidates are simultaneously participating in a Learning Communities III course or Seminar. Opportunities for reflection on personal and professional growth in these areas occurs throughout the course. During the course, the major themes are: Diversity; Instruction; Motivation and Management; Assessment; Subject Area Knowledge and Pedagogical; Content Knowledge; and, Technology.

In two required work samples, candidates conduct assessments through which they collect, record, and analyze data related to student learning over time. Student achievement gains are analyzed numerically and graphed by learning goal for an entire class. In addition, candidates write narratives in which they reflect upon the learning gains (or regression) of selected student. These data are used to reflect on how to improve student learning. Finally, at the end of the ITL program, candidates give a presentation that is reflective of their growth throughout the program, weaving in the themes of conceptual framework and the standards for the endorsement and license.

Field Placements For AP Candidates

Special Education (Initial Teaching License and endorsement)
Most Initial Teaching License candidates in the Master of Arts in Teaching Special Education program receive paid internships with cooperating school districts and are considered the teacher of record. Student teaching occurs within the context of their full-time teaching assignment. MAT Special Education candidates who are accepted in the program, but are not interns, must complete a full-semester of student teaching under the guidance of a Highly Qualified mentor teacher. Candidates who are adding the special education endorsement to an existing license complete their student teaching practica in their schools where they are teaching full-time.

ESOL endorsements:
This field experience occurs in the student teaching placement or in the practicing teachers’ own classroom, in association with mentors who hold the endorsement. Candidates complete a portfolio that is assessed by the ESOL Coordinator as well as an evaluation completed by the mentor teacher in the building.

Reading endorsement:
Reading endorsement candidates complete two 1-credit practica, each associated with a required course (Educ 630 and 637). Ordinarily, classroom teachers complete this practicum in their own classroom, but may do so in another classroom in their school. (MED/VFL candidates, who are Optometry students, are placed in a school building by the instructor.) The instructor meets with the school administrator, reviews the candidates’ journals, and observes each candidate.

TAG certificate:
This field experience occurs in the student teaching placement or in the practicing teachers’ own classroom, under the supervision of mentors. Candidates complete a portfolio that is assessed by the TAG Coordinator as well as an evaluation completed by the mentor teacher in the building.

Cultural competency certificate:
This field experience occurs in the student teaching placement or in the practicing teachers’ own classroom, in association with mentors who hold the endorsement. Candidates complete a portfolio that is assessed by the TAG Coordinator as well as an evaluation completed by the mentor teacher in the building.

Tapalpa International Experience:
At Pacific University, ITL candidates have the opportunity to participate in an elementary/middle school teaching practicum in Mexico. During a three week stay, they student teach in grades 1 - 6 or in the local middle school. They also participate in other volunteer services as well as attend weekly seminars and enjoy weekend cultural excursions. This experience applies to three weeks of their 15+ week student teaching requirement.

Other endorsements and authorizations:
In most cases, candidates adding an endorsement are already licensed practicing teachers. Thus, they do their supervised practica (2 credits) in their own school setting. Arrangements are made through the district to facilitate this process, and a University Supervisor is appointed to observe, evaluate a work sample (required for adding an authorization level), and recommend the candidate for the additional endorsement or authorization when all other requirements are met.