50-581 Practice/Student Teaching in Early Childhood Education

The purpose of this clinical experience is to assist the candidates in applying their theoretical and methodological knowledge and skills to the diverse and multicultural early childhood classroom. During clinical practice, candidates engage in a 15 week full-time teaching experience in an early childhood classroom, under the cooperation and supervision of a cooperating teacher, who is a proven highly qualified mentor with demonstrated ability to increase student learning. A University field supervisor is also assigned to evaluate the candidate and coordinate the experience. Clinical practice consists of the candidate observing the students, the environment, and the cooperating teacher, as well as being responsible for the developmentally appropriate instruction of students individually, in small groups, and as a whole class. The accompanying required Clinical Practice Seminar is bi-weekly and will allow the candidates to collegially focus on the demands, challenges, and rewards of student teaching in the early childhood setting. This seminar also serves as a platform for bridging the candidate’s University experience to the early childhood profession. Candidates explore job search and employment, continued professional development, promoting positive change in educational contexts, professional organizations, and professional advocacy. To demonstrate this bridging, candidates complete their professional portfolios (Teacher Work Sample) which align with NAEYC/NCATE and Illinois State Standards.