ERIC Number: ED431748
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999
Reference Count: N/A
Changing Perspectives and Practices in the Preparation of Elementary School Teachers at the University of Connecticut.
Suranna, Keith J.; Weinland, Thomas P.
Several years ago, the faculty at the University of Connecticut's School of Education embarked on an integrated Bachelor's/Master's elementary teacher preparation program. The new program originated in the educational reform literature of the late 1980s. Significant features included a commitment to: a fifth Master's year; a small number of school districts and professional development centers; each student spending at least 1 day per week in a school; each semester including a seminar where students could relate field experiences to college lectures, theory, and reading; students in their Master's year serving in curriculum development support roles within the school districts; and academic preparation that expected all students to meet the requirements of a liberal arts academic major. The program was especially innovative in parting with the three-credit course. For the elementary program, which had been married to 18 credits of elementary methods in traditional three-credit formats, the change set in motion an additional series of changes that continues to this day. The paper describes these changes, particularly as they impact the methods semester (the senior semester preceding student teaching). One of the innovative projects was for preservice teachers to regularly observe a university educator teaching in an elementary school, then critique his work. The preservice teachers found the program valuable because it offered them a deeper understanding of teaching. (SM)
Descriptors: Bachelors Degrees, College School Cooperation, College Students, Educational Change, Elementary Education, Graduate Students, Graduate Study, Higher Education, Masters Degrees, Masters Programs, Methods Courses, Nontraditional Education, Partnerships in Education, Preservice Teacher Education, Student Teachers
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A