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Clinical Work

STEP upholds the fundamental belief that the goal of the educational enterprise is the success of all students, and that this goal should organize the joint work of both researchers and practitioners. Theory and practice join for the accomplishment of this key goal.

By enacting practice across the university and fieldwork settings, candidates learn from experience both in and from practice. Pairing candidates with cooperating teachers who understand STEP's vision of teaching heightens the probability that candidates are working with cooperating teachers whose teaching practices reflect and reinforce what candidates are learning in STEP coursework. Cooperating teachers are selected by committees of expert teacher educators who consider the alignment between their teaching and the STEP curriculum, their dedication to mentoring new teachers, and their experience in the classroom. Cooperating teachers must have at least three years of teaching experience in their area of certification and a strong commitment and willingness to mentor and support teacher candidates.

About Our Placements

Teacher Candidates (TCs) are placed in semester-long classroom teaching situations under the guidance of expert cooperating teachers in local elementary schools. Over the course of the year, each candidate will have an upper grade and lower grade placement. Together with the cooperating teacher, the university supervisor provides direct and invaluable support for STEP candidates during their teaching experience

Fieldwork sites for BCLAD candidates are carefully selected to insure that all candidates complete, at a minimum, one quarter of student teaching in an officially-designated bilingual classroom with a bilingual certified teacher. In that setting, both English and Spanish are used as media for instruction as a way to develop students' academic skills in both their native and second languages.

Examples of Current Year Placements

Elementary Partnership Schools

STEP is committed to the Partnership School model of student teaching assignments. Our vision is to work in collaboration with school site faculty and administrative staff for the professional preparation of our teaching candidates. STEP faculty and administrative staff are currently in the process of selecting and working with local elementary schools that share the following criteria:

  • Demonstration of effective teaching and learning practices for all students
  • Successful implementation of state-level academic standards
  • A commitment to the practice of teacher professional development
  • Student populations representative of the general diversity in the state (including racial, ethnic, socio-economic, academic, behavioral and language diversity)

STEP will then work closely with these schools to develop strong partnership relationships, where the school and university communicate and collaborate in the preparation and professional development of teaching candidates as well as the school site faculty. Such strong cooperative links allow for the greatest level of consistency and coherency in the program of preparation of STEP teaching candidates.

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