ERIC Number: ED367597
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Feb
Reference Count: N/A
Making Connections: Aligning Theory and Field Practice.
Taylor, Nancy E.; And Others
This paper reports program changes in the junior year internship that were made to bring practice closer to the theoretical goals of the Catholic University of America's teacher education program in Washington, D.C. The changes had the goal of increasing the quality and scope of education students' thinking about education, and they involved restructuring the organization of course work so students could spend a concentrated amount of time in classrooms. Juniors spent 1 day a week in field placement during their first semester. The second semester then consisted of the major methods courses (taught at the field site) and a practicum of 2 mornings a week during the first half of the semester and four consecutive days during the second half of the semester. Students planned and carried out a thematic unit that integrated science, social studies, and reading/language arts. This activity pulled the methods courses and the field experience together. Reflection about practice was encouraged throughout the semester. Data from 13 preservice teachers revealed that the revised program was effective in accomplishing its goals. Students practiced reflection not imitation, found support not isolation, connected theory and activity for transfer, and experienced normatively situated dilemmas instead of only technique. Themes emerging from the evaluation data include: ownership/partnership; risk taking; planning, teaching, and learning; realities; and relationship of changes to larger program goals. (Contains 18 references.) (JDD)
Descriptors: College Juniors, Conceptual Tempo, Elementary Education, Experiential Learning, Higher Education, Methods Courses, Practicums, Preservice Teacher Education, Program Development, Program Effectiveness, Student Teaching, Teacher Education Programs, Thematic Approach, Theory Practice Relationship
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Catholic University of America DC
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (Chicago, IL, February 16-19, 1994).