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Clinical Experience Guidelines PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Wednesday, 20 December 2006
Clinical Experience in Language Arts (EDU 320/520)Guidelines Essential Question – What’s it really like to teach in the public schools in this day and age? 

Backward Design Lesson Planning:

 Why is this learning experience important?  (i.e. What’s the point?) 

(1) To provide opportunities for you to reflect and clarify your thinking about teaching and learning as you observe and participate in public schools,

(2) To put the “I” in your response writing,

(3) To build the learning community within this class by sharing your experiences and insights,

(4) To demonstrate your competence in written English,

(5) To address some of the Critical Thinking dimensions in the UNE Core Curriculum, and

(6) To address Maine’s Standards One, Six, and Eight for Initial Certification.

Standard One - Demonstrates knowledge of the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline(s) he or she teaches and can create learning experiences that make these aspects of subject matter meaningful to students.

Standard Six - Creates and maintains a classroom environment which supports and encourages learning.) 

Standard Eight - Understands and uses a variety of formal and informal assessment strategies to evaluate and support the development of the learner. 

What will you know or be able to do or demonstrate when you are done? You will demonstrate in writing your understanding of teaching and learning in the public school classroom. 


            How will I know that (i.e. assessment)?  I will read for clarity, focus, the use of examples and specifics, and attention to the conventions of the English language.  If the writing is not satisfactory or you would like to raise your point total, you will have the opportunity to rewrite and resubmit your paper once. 


            Guidelines:  The classroom observation requirement for this class is important.  Nothing else will acquaint you with the "real world" of teaching as effectively. To enhance your learning in the university classroom, ten hours in one, two, or three hour sessions visits to observe and participate in a classroom at your grade level of interest.  Think of these ten hours as a minimum for you to be in classrooms this semester. 


During your visits, note the following,

1.  (First visit) - How did the teacher(s) make or not make the subject matter meaningful to students? - Standard 1.

2.  (Second visit) - How did the teacher(s) create and maintain or not create and maintain a classroom environment which supports and encourages learning? - Standard 6

3. (Third visit) - What informal and formal assessment strategies did the teacher use to evaluate and support the development of the learner? - Standard 8 (Identify the various assessments in bold and comment on the effectiveness of each one.)

 Once having completed your visit, write a three paragraph, full page, single-spaced, typed reflection about your experience.  Put a space between each paragraph.  Edit your paper so you have all three paragraphs on one side of the paper. 

On the top line, write your name, the course number, the number of the clinical experience paper, identify the grade of the classroom, whether it was in a rural, suburban, or urban school setting and the Standard you are addressing. 

(e.g., Tom Brady, EDU 217, CE #2, Grade 4, Rural, Standard 1).


In paragraph one, address the assigned Standard (see above) and the Critical Thinking dimension – Identify and assess the quality of evidence [Your observations are examples of meaningful evidence.]  Be specific about what you have observed and include the reaction and interaction of the students and teacher.


In paragraph two, give your opinion and analysis about the teaching and learning that you described in paragraph one.  In so doing, you will address the Critical Thinking dimension – Present own point of view or hypothesis in relation to the issue. Your analysis could include what you especially liked and why or what you would do differently if it were your classroom.  You might start a sentence, “If I were the teacher, I would…”


In paragraph three, write one thing you learned about teaching and learning during the observation/participation and why that learning struck you as important as you think about your future as a teacher.  In so doing, you will address the Critical Thinking dimension – Identify and assess conclusions, implications, and consequences.   It can be a positive or negative understanding.  You can include a question with a possible response.


Send me an electronic copy of your paper by Word attachment as well as bring a hard copy to class on the date due.  When I respond to your response writing, I will underline parts in your letter that strike me as important or are key points.  I will italicize sentences with grammar or spelling errors.  Though you may resubmit your response writing once to address questions of content that I raise, errors in grammar and spelling will be reflected in your score.  Therefore, submit a grammatically correct paper the first time.  I encourage you to read your paper aloud to catch any errors.  Use the Learning Assistance Services on the University Campus in the LAS Building (across from Alfond), 602.2443, or on the Westbrook College Campus in the Proctor Center of Proctor Hall, 221.4247, if you know that writing is not an area of strength of yours. 


Each of the three papers is worth ten points.  If there are extenuating circumstances why you won’t meet the deadline, let me know prior to the due date.  There are three papers due, but you have ten hours of  clinical experiences to complete.


            Begin calling schools immediately as your first clinical experience response paper is due during the fourth week in class.  The due dates are:

Response Paper #1 – September 30th  

Response Paper #2 – October 14th    

Response Paper #3 – October 28th    

Record Sheet with all five visits completed is due by December 2nd.

 (This will be sent to you electronically during the first week of the semester.)


Dan Rothermel, PhD

Department of Education

University of New England

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