Lake Superior State University
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Special Education - Learning Disabilities (SM)

Section VII Narratives

Field Experiences

Field placements are integrated throughout the Professional Education Courses of the regular education program beginning with EDUC250 Student Diversity and Schools where the focus is on tutoring experiences. In subsequent courses, after admission to the Department of Education, candidates have diverse and varied experiences of increasing responsibility and duration. These early field experiences require a minimum of 15 hours per semester per course in focused experiences coupled with reflective journaling and fulfillment of additional course outcomes focused on the experiences. Field experiences are required in each of the Professional Education Coursesrequired for elementary teacher candidates: EDUC250, EDUC301, EDUC330, EDUC110, EDUC411 and EDUC420, EDUC421 and EDUC422. Each course requires a directed field experience with K-8 students in settings appropriate to their level and major/minors. Course EDUC250-EDUCDUC411 each require 15 clock hours per course, EDUC420-EDUC422 each require 10 clock hours per course. All EDUC courses and field work must be completed prior to entering the student teaching internship. During the internship candidates work for approximately 15 weeks under the direct supervision of a classroom teacher and the periodic oversight of a university supervisor. Candidates meet regularly with a university instructor for a seminar course, and are also concurrently enrolled in a graduate course during the internship focuses on the basics of action research or advanced curriculum development. During the fall semester, candidates complete EDUC602 Reflection and Inquiry in Teaching Practice I examining qualitative and quantitative research methods and developing their own research based question addressing student learning. During the spring semester students complete a second graduate level course on curriculum planning and implementation, EDUC605.

Student teaching internship placements extend across the full university semester, beginning generally with the start of the academic year in August/September or January. Placements in the summer are not available. Candidates are required to secure field experiences (both early-ongoing experiences and the student teaching experience) in both their major and minor fields, a process documented in their e-portfolio.

Teacher candidates in the Special Education: Learning Disabilities major are further required to complete field experiences in each of EDSE course prior to student teaching, a total of 90 clock hours. Student teaching will span the 15 week semester with placement in classrooms serving the needs of learning disabled students, for a minimum of 300 clock hours (6 hrs/day * 5 days * 10 weeks minimum).

Expanded Narrative: Early Field Experiences

Field experience, in classrooms related to their levels and subjects of certification, are required in EDUC 250, 301, 430, 431, 440, and 443. Course descriptions and syllabi of each of the professional education courses are now available as a part of this program application. Each education course requires 15 clock hours of field experience in the subjects of their training, for a total preservice field experience requirement totaling a minimum of 90 hours. The requirements for these field experiences are described in our Field Experience Guidelines which apply to candidates AFTER Admission. These guidelines are part of the school policy documents and are posted online at http://www.lssu.edu/education The candidates submit their field logs using the LSSU form F325-a Field Experience Log for courses EDUC301 and above (includes a reflective narrative), and candidates submit F320-b Field Experience Log for EDUC250 experiences. The field experience requirements are discussed in the Undergraduate handbook, available online, but also excerpted below:

Field Experience Expectations

Field experience for EDUC 150, EDUC 250, and EDUC 400 level classes outside of the Sault Area School District will be arranged by the individual student. Arrangements for field experience in the Sault Area Schools will be handled through the office of the Field Placement Director.

  • Canadian students may complete their field experience in the K-12 schools in Ontario.
  • Field experience for EDUC 301 will be arranged by the Field Placement Director in cooperation with the course instructor.
  • All placements for the internship year will be made by the Field Placement Director.

It is required that all students entering into the Internship experience carry professional liability insurance. This insurance is offered through the office of the Uniserv Director of the Michigan Education Association. The insurance is at a reasonable rate and includes a student membership in the professional organization of MEA

Additional Information

  • These field experiences are required of students as partial fulfillment of each course.
  • Students are required to provide their own transportation to and from the field sites.
  • Students are expected to dress appropriately and conduct themselves in a professional manner when working in the schools.
  • Additional field experience throughout the teaching preparation years is encouraged. Persons needing assistance in locating additional experiences may seek help from the Field Placement Director.
  • Students should report to the office at the school upon each visit.
  • Students should wear nametags when visiting the schools.
    (COMPLETE EDUCATION COURSE LIST)

EDUC 250 Student Diversity and Schools During this course students will be required to participate in 15 hours of tutoring students at the elementary or secondary levels. This may include working with individual students, small groups and/or large groups. Individual instructors will require evidence of completion of this requirement and may establish other requirements related to this experience.

EDUC 301 Learning Theory and Teaching Practices The field experience for this course is an integral part of the class. Students will be expected to spend eight class sessions in the schools at the level in which they plan to teach. Specific expectations for this field experience will be designed by the course instructor.

EDUC 400 Level Courses Students are expected to spend a minimum of three hours per week, per course, engaged in classroom practice during the fall and spring semesters working at the level of and in the area of their expertise. Instructors of these courses will provide specific requirements for the field experiences and required documentation.

EDUC 492 Internship in Teaching Diverse Learners II Teacher Interns will begin their academic courses on campus in mid-August before reporting to their K-12 assignments. The teaching internship begins in the field when teachers report for their fall semester or at the completion of the August classes on campus. Interns are expected to be with their assigned cooperating teachers during the school year. A calendar of activities related to the internships will be distributed to all interns, cooperating teachers, school administrators and university supervisors. Students will be asked to identify the geographical area within LSSU service area where they would like to serve their internship year. The School of Education will attempt to place the students where they desire. However, there is no guarantee, actual or implied, that internships will be provided in these areas. Students are not allowed to do their internship at a school where a family member is employed and will not be placed in a school district where a family member is an administrator or on the school board. Students who attempt to establish their own internship placement without going through the process as established by the Field Placement Director may jeopardize their placement for that given academic year.

Instructional Methods

The objective of introducing students to a wide range of instructional methods is to prepare the teacher candidate to be an effective instructional leader.

Lake Superior State University secondary teacher candidates are prepared in instructional methods through both the professional education sequence (EDUC150-EDUC447) and through courses in their major/minor curriculum. In the Professional Education Courses, the secondary candidate completes EDUC430 General Methods for Secondary Teachers (a study of strategies and methodologies to facilitate learning...), EDUC431 the Secondary Learner, EDUC440 Reading in the Content Area (a study of reading methods...) and EDUC44x a content specific methods course for Secondary Teachers (curriculum, objectives, content, materials, organization methods and assessment). Each of these courses has a required fieldwork component where the candidate applies the concepts and theories through modeling and practice lessons in secondary classrooms as appropriate to their certification.

The special education candidate also addresses specific instructional methods appropriate to the needs of students with learning disabilities in their EDSE courses. These courses focus on adaptations including adaptation of curriculum, of testing/assessment, of instruction, management of the learning environment, and communication/collaboration in the context of life skills and transition to non-academic life function.

Lake Superior State University elementary teacher candidates are prepared in instructional methods and the applications of instructional technology through the professional education sequence (EDUC/TE150-EDUC/TE422). In the Professional Education Courses, ALL elementary candidates complete:

Technology

Technology is integrated throughout the professional education sequence, in fulfillment of the 7th standard of the Professional Standards for Michigan Teachers (PSMT). Students work in each course to implement appropriate application of technology through their own instruction, and with the K-8 learner. Assessment of the student teaching internship is directly aligned to the ELSMT (now PSMT) standards. The School of Education impresses on students the necessity of technological competence through appropriate technology use by our faculty, the requirement for an electronic portfolio for the education program, and by providing appropriate technologies for students through the university learning center and the School of Education office. The School of Education uses extensive resources available for Michigan teachers to enhance their preparedness for the effective use of technology, including, for example, the Michigan Teacher Network (http://mtn.merit.edu), and the Preparing Technology Proficient Teachers(www.preteacher.org), Coalition for Outstanding Achievement through Teaching with Technology (http://www.coatt.org) and electronic portfolios (Taskstream http://taskstream.com) into our professional education sequence. This integration is reflected in many of our internal documents which are archived on the School of Education website. In the special education major teacher candidates are adept at adaptive technologies and methods of instructional modification using appropriate technology to facilitate student learning.

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