The following is a list of teacher candidates’ suggestions for helping make the teacher candidates’ experiences in the program more meaningful and productive:
Assessment and Evaluation
All teacher candidates take a course in assessment and learning prior to their extended practicum. Methodology and other courses should also address and incorporate assessment topics in coursework.
Timing of Group Projects/Assignments
Teacher candidates have requested group assignments be assigned at term start as they find such assignments challenging to complete during their busy term-end. Cohort coordinators at the elementary level can facilitate discussions about assignment timing and coordination among instructors.
Teacher candidates also find it difficult to organize out-of-class meetings to do group assignments. This is largely due to the program having many course contact hours. The following are some suggestions for reducing the number of group assignments:
- Integration of topics – Teacher candidates can benefit (both individually and in group work) from addressing the same topic in different classes while integrating different thematic emphases. For example, sample units on ancient civilizations can incorporate language arts, social studies, math, etc., and teacher candidates can, therefore, engage in integrated learning pedagogies.
- Fewer reflections – Take into consideration the number of out-of-class reflections required per course. Please note that, teacher candidates benefit from an initial explanation of what is meant by a reflection, i.e., the critical analysis of a reading, lecture or experience.
In addition, many instructors across departments unknowingly use the same readings, video materials, content and assignments in their courses. Wherever possible, instructors should hold conversations with cross department colleagues to ensure excessive overlap of content does not occur.