Field Experiences Overview
For most students enrolled in the College of Education, the program includes four important field practicums – EDST 213, EDST 321, EDST 322, and a 16 week Extended Practicum EXPR 422. These field practicums provide teacher candidates the opportunity to develop their professional identities, connect pedagogical theory and practice, and gain valuable hands-on teaching experience.
Policies and Funding
The Janet Johnston Trust Fund was set up from the estate of alumna and retired College of Education Professor Dr. Janet Johnston in 2010 to support rural field experience placements. Dr. Johnston (BEd'62, MEd'72) served for 12 years as the Director of Field Experiences in the college and was responsible for placing hundreds of student teachers and interns in the schools of Northern Saskatchewan and overseeing their supervision. She believed that potential teaching ability was enhanced by actual experiences in schools, interacting with students, teachers and administrators, while experiencing supervision from the college. She recruited, trained and led a small group of skilled supervisors, who worked very closely together with directors, principals and teachers in the field to ensure that teacher candidates were provided with opportunities for valuable experiences. The Janet Johnston Trust Fund continues her legacy of excellence in rural and experiential education.
Professional Growth Portfolio
During your professional studies in the College of Education you will use the Professional Growth Portfolio (PGP) Tables to collect and analyze evidence of your progress toward program goals and outcomes. You will be asked to use your portfolio as a springboard for reflective writing, theorizing and inquiry activities that take place as part of coursework and field study assignments. You are encouraged to keep your records in electronic form for easy sharing with peers, instructors, cooperating teachers and internship facilitators.
Throughout your professional learning experiences you are required to collect evidence by adding to your record on a regular basis (daily or every second day would be best but weekly is acceptable). The information in the PGP is directly linked to your extended practicum assessment. Be sure to DATE your entries and add the most recent entry at the 'top' so that entries read in reverse chronological order (e.g., March 29, March 27, March 22)
Include evidence that indicates (is an indicator of) your progress toward the outcomes noted. You can include:
- Records of your observations collected during school and community visits
- Feedback/discussions with peers, cooperating teachers, instructors, facilitators while preparing to work with learners
- Instructional plans (lesson & unit plans)
- Feedback from peers, cooperating teachers, instructors, facilitators related to teaching
- Elements of on-campus coursework are welcome here, including assignments (or parts of assignments), critiques/summaries of articles read, and records of professional discussions
Analysis & Reflections
In this part of the table, you will record your analysis of the evidence you have gathered. In your analysis you should:
- Deconstruct your observations - that is, reflect on the gathered data to address the general question: What have I learned about the students and their learning needs?
- Examine and explain changes in your own behaviours/ways of thinking
- Explain how you think the evidence recorded is an indicator of your progress toward particular outcomes
During field practicums, partner schools are teacher candidates' professional homes where teacher candidates learn about teaching and learning by collaborating with teachers to enhance student learning.
During field practicums teacher candidates
- Deepen professional understandings by actively participating in the life of the school through a wide range of activities.
- Deepen their ability to engage with students, colleagues, parents and administrators.
- Increase awareness of broader perspectives on education and the community and the school in society.
- Further develop their professional identities, gain insight into the realities of classroom teaching and evaluate their career choice.
The Field Experiences accommodation plan at the College of Education has been developed to support students registered with AES (Access & Equity Services) during all of their Field Experience courses (practicums). It is an extension of the plan developed by AES and focuses on accommodating teacher candidates that are in the schools.
Please make an appointment with the Field Experience team to develop your plan. It is beneficial to make an appointment prior to your field experience course so the accommodation is completed before your time in the schools.
Please contact one of the following to set up an appointment:
Teacher Education programs are responsible to society for providing courses of study that support Teacher Candidates in developing the professional, knowledge, instructional, and curricular competencies necessary for provincial teacher certification as well as to support best practices for teaching and learning in a changing world.
The College of Education welcomes diversity, as well as teamwork towards appropriate supports, in order that Teacher Candidates demonstrate the necessary Teaching Competencies identified by Saskatchewan’s Teacher Education, Classification and Certification Board (Appendix A). Competency standards for teachers are described further in the document Teacher Professionalism: A Public Trust (www.stf.sk.ca).
Tools and Resources
Throughout the Extended Practicum process, Teacher Candidates are required to prepare approx. 7-10 original or substantially adapted formal unit plans of at least 10 lessons each. Units should be made for every class they are teaching continuously.
Three of these unit plans are to be submitted to the college facilitator and must be created using the Understanding by Design Model with the hopes that all their units are created in this format.
Professional conversations and “teacher talk” are essential aspects of the teacher candidates’ learning experience; all teacher candidate and cooperating teachers, therefore, will be expected to make time throughout the day for these conversations to occur. The Supervision Cycle Process should occur daily, and consists on the ongoing cycle of teacher candidate performance, teacher feedback, critical reflection and incorporation of feedback: