This article is the last in a series of three showcasing the transformation of preservice field experiences at Louisiana Tech University. Read the first article here and the second here. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.
In a traditional student teaching experience, the school and mentor agree to host a teacher candidate in the classroom for 10-15 weeks, which can be viewed as a short-term accommodation that is not integral to the school community. In a full-year clinical residency, however, the importance of the mentor-resident placement is essential to the success of the school year for all involved. Therefore, the TEAM (Teacher Educators and Mentors) Model Clinical Residency Center at Louisiana Tech University has made the design of a quality placement procedure a priority.
In the TEAM Model timeline, residents and mentors apply in April/May to participate in the full-year clinical residency. Upon university, school, and district approval of the participants, an electronic clinical styles inventory is distributed to all participants in late May/June, and all placements are finalized in July. On the online inventory, mentors and residents rate their own traits around personality, planning, teaching, professionalism, and other areas in order to better identify their clinical style.
This article is the first in a series of three showcasing the transformation of preservice field experiences at Louisiana Tech University. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.
With a vision of quality, rich field experiences connected to theory and practice for many years, Louisiana Tech University was well positioned to chart a path in the early years of Louisiana’s Believe and Prepare initiative to transform traditional student teaching to a full-year clinical residency. Already, the redesigned model is having a positive impact on teacher preparation and engagement, not only in our programs but throughout the state.
The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.
When John Dewey wrote of the need to create an “intimate union” between the university and the elementary school such that each is a laboratory for the other, he was speaking of a need that is still yet to be fully satiated. Today’s increasing prevalence of the residency model, however – supported by a growing body of research and application across diverse settings – is ushering in a new era that offers new promise toward achieving Dewey’s vision.
For Dewey, the intimate union would have the university contributing “to the evolution of valuable subject-matter and right method while the school in turn will be a laboratory in which the student of education sees theories and ideas demonstrated, tested, criticized, enforced, and the evolution of new truths” (Dewey, 1900/1990, p. 93). And although Dewey’s University of Chicago Laboratory Schools flourish as a living instantiation of his intimate union, in many practical ways the ideal has proven elusive.