Emily Columpsi

"The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery" -Mark Van Doren

Entry #6A -Field Experience and The Role of Teacher Education

In my opinion, field experiences (ex. pre-internship, internship, practicums etc.) play a major role in preparing education students to become teachers. “The primary purpose…is to help students learn how to apply theory and principles to work situations and to develop and expand professional skills and competencies essential to these tasks” (UofM). In addition, it provides, first hand, direct experiences that help to increase the understanding of the learning process. From personal experience, motivation, confidence, classroom management, and teaching strategies are the main focus areas of field experiences. It is through the field experience in the schools that allows pre-service teachers to see the meaningful development and merging of theory and practice. Without field experiences, pre-service teachers would struggle to apply the skills necessary for facilitating learning.

University Teacher Education Programs provide students with the professional education necessary to become certified teachers. Teacher education programs place emphasis on methods, standards and pedagogy; providing pre-service teachers with the opportunity to study, learn and familiarize oneself with the curriculum, student development, pedagogy, lesson planning, and the professional rights and responsibilities of teachers. However, lectures can only do and provide so much for pre-service teachers. Education students need to go out in the field and experience the realities of schools, classrooms, and students themselves. I personally find that I learn more by doing. 

Through my years as an education student I have come to believe that math is a fundamental area of study. Thus, what I already know now about being a mathematics teacher is unlikely to change through my field experience. In some of my previous posts I state how math is an important area of study because it has the potential to provide students with several fundamental or transferrable skills. Thus, it is important that I believe in what I am doing, not only seeing math as important but relevant. Presenting content with integrity and honesty holds value to me, as the course content becomes more relevant and useful not only for the present but for the students future lives. This belief is unlikely to change because it is an opinion that I have carried with me since I entered university, as I witnessed first hand the importance of relevant communication. Thus, I hope to apply this in my field experience.  In addition, I hold the belief that math should no longer be about steps and memorization, but rather it should be about and geared towards student-centered instruction and inquiry. This fundamental belief arose while I was in university and will unlikely change in my field experience. I am committed to the students. Thus, interacting with them in a positive and encouraging manner holds value. In addition, I am committed to relaying the content in an interesting manner, that is geared more towards direct application and student involvement.  

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