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FIELD EXPERIENCE DIRECTIONS

Your 20-hour field experience will focus in as many ways as possible on how the ALL school and any others you visit are adapting to educational reform. Consider the following question clusters and topics as a guide for conducting formal/informal interviews, observations, and mini-teaching, etc. Be sure to observe courtesy and respect in all dealings with school personnel.

1) What reactions do you hear to the Teacher Tests? To MASC Tests? (Reactions include both thoughts and feelings.) What changes and adjustments have been made to prepare students for the tests? What could you find out about the test atmosphere and content from people who have taken it?

2) What do teachers think of the Curriculum Frameworks? Have they had departmental workshops to match their curriculum to them? Do they feel added pressure to “cover” more content than before? Is there concern about having time for group work, creative projects, problem solving, etc.?

3) In what ways are computers being used? What ratios of computers per student are there? Do students value their computer use opportunities? Is there any use of Distance Learning at the school?

4) Are there any relatively new teachers? What do they say about their first year? About discipline? About grading? What do older teachers recall about their first year? What advice do they give?

5. One dimension of reform is to end the general or lower track. How is this working? How is inclusion working? What adaptations are teachers making? How do they feel about inclusion?

6) Are any teachers using portfolios and other authentic assessment techniques? What is happening and how do teachers feel about it? Similarly, inquire into:

Multiple Intelligence teaching? Cooperative Learning? Problem-Based Learning? Thematic Learning? Higher Order Thinking/Habits of Mind? Service Learning?

7) Who do staff and students believe are the “most effective” teachers? What do they mean by “most effective”? Do they have many of the characteristics of the “Principles of Effective Teaching” Have teachers seen “The Common Core of Learning”? or “Charting the Course: The Common Chapters”? Do they seem to have any sense of state mandated priorities in the Frameworks?

8) What are people’s overall assessments of educational reform? What are their hopes and fears?

Report your Field Experience Findings in 1-3 pages based on what you LEARN and what you RECOMMEND. You may document your hours on the following FORM.