ERIC Number: ED429054
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
Early Field Experiences in Teacher Education. ERIC Digest.
Quality teacher education programs provide candidates with many early field experiences in diverse settings. This Digest examines complexities and challenges of early field experiences, noting the nature and degree of early field experiences within teacher education programs. Through field experiences, teacher candidates observe and work with real students, teachers, and curricula in natural settings. Field experiences prior to student teaching are called early field experiences. The most prevalent field experience until the early 1980s was student teaching. Within recent years, early field experiences have become more common. Student teachers need careful guidance and mediation to help them focus on critical aspects of classroom teaching and interactions and interpret what they see in order to benefit from field experiences. The establishment of a Professional Development School greatly facilitates the delivery of early field experiences, though it is highly time- and labor-intensive. Teacher preparation programs are providing substantial amounts of early field experiences in varied settings. A 1997 survey examined field experiences nationwide and found that most teacher candidates first engaged in field experiences before their junior year. They spent a substantial number of hours engaged in early field experiences (particularly at the elementary level) in various schools and classrooms. In most programs, university supervisors provided some degree of on-site supervision. Anecdotal evidence suggests that more and earlier field experiences results in better prepared teachers. (Contains 15 references.) (SM)
Descriptors: Elementary Secondary Education, Field Experience Programs, Higher Education, Preservice Teacher Education, Student Teachers, Teaching Methods
ERIC Clearinghouse on Teaching and Teacher Education, One Dupont Circle, Suite 610, Washington, DC 20036-1186.
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Teaching and Teacher Education, Washington, DC.