Muhlenberg’s Education Program has a strong commitment to field experience. We believe that fieldwork provides an invaluable opportunity for students to see and directly experience theory translated into practice. Students begin fieldwork early in their course sequence allowing for multiple and varied experiences across grade levels and settings, both urban and suburban, including placements in special education and English Language Learner classrooms.
Early and ongoing fieldwork experience helps students to clarify their professional goals, to link their course work with actual classroom practice while gaining increased insight into the craft of teaching and to acquire increased levels of confidence. Field experience plays a key role in our program’s effort to educate highly qualified teachers for our nation’s schools as stated in the department mission statement.
Reflective Activities and Application of Principles and Theory to Practice
The reflective model of teacher education is one we strongly endorse and strive to incorporate throughout our program. Every course beyond EDU 101 has a fieldwork component. Course syllabi include assignments designed to blend theory with practice. Field experiences serve as subjects of class discussion where theory and practice are integrated and best teaching practices are flushed out and analyzed.
Students need to gain insight into not only what teachers do, but more importantly why and how they do it. To accomplish this, fieldwork students will have specific and structured assignments to complete which are designed to begin this process of reflection early, which we think is so necessary to good teaching. It is the intent of these assignments to guide students in connecting theory and principles discussed in their courses to their observations and teaching practices in the field. In addition, these assignments provide opportunities for students to self-assess their skill development and growth.