Clinical Experience is at the Core
Clinical work provides the foundation of educator development and is designed to integrate theory and coursework into practice. Clinical work is also known as field experience or a practicum. Essentially this is teacher candidates in the PK-12 classroom practicing what they are learning with their professors under the guidance of an expert teacher. The UW-Parkside collaborates with PK-12 schools to provide all education students with placements that will develop their skills of planning, organizing, instructing, evaluating, and leading a classroom of students. UW-Parkside is appreciative to all who contribute to the success of our clinical programs.
The clinical program within the Educator Development Program is designed based on the ten principles guiding the clinical preparation of educators identified by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) Blue Ribbon Panel on Clinical Preparation and Partnerships for Improved Student Learning (NCATE, 2010). The clinical program is focused on developing and applying professional knowledge, skills and dispositions to advance the learning of students in PK-12 education. Thus, clinical practice and learning "in real PK-12 classrooms, in real schools" is integrated across all developmental levels of the program. This diagram will give you an overview of the structure of the clinical program and show how it coordinates with your course work. Developmental Structure Diagram UW-Parkside students in the Educator Development Program bring the entirety of their developing knowledge and skill in content, pedagogy, and design of learning experiences to bear on their practice in clinical experiences - furthering their development as educators both in the academic setting and in the field.
Candidates complete a full 12 credit hours in the clinical component of the program, integrated with the bachelor's degree program for degree-seeking students. These 12 credit hours represent 240-300 contact hours in the field, directly engaged in experiential learning in practice. Candidates complete a further 12 credit hours in the 18-week Residency (student teaching) capstone experience. Residency is a full time experience that follows the calendar of the school where the placement occurs.
Based on the research from St. Cloud State University and Arizona State University under the federal Teacher Quality Grants, the program has adopted a co-teaching model of clinical practice. This model (Clinical Program Prospectus) ensures the on-going modeling of effective instruction and a continuing focus on student achievement with the teacher candidate working side by side with the professional educator in their assigned placement. Co-teaching allows teacher candidates to learn in a collaborative manner and to harness the power of a team in service to student learning in the classroom. Co-teaching is quickly emerging as a best practice in educator development and our partner schools are excited with this opportunity as it has shown positive results for student achievement.