Field Experiences - Level I
Field experiences are the application side of preparation for teacher certification. Teacher candidates advance through three levels of field experiences, each becoming more intense. Field experiences provide actual settings in which to develop and demonstrate the knowledge, skills and dispositions necessary to help all students learn . “All” implies the possibility of diverse learning needs. Such needs may surface with (a) students having exceptionalities; (b) students from varying geographical areas, ethnicities, races, religions or socioeconomic strata; or (c) students with gender, sexual orientation and linguistic differences.
Shippensburg University Standards for Those Preparing to Teach, Lead, or Counsel in Public Schools include the following expected outcomes:
- Knowledge: Teacher candidates demonstrate understanding of the differences in how students learn and know how to accommodate diverse learning needs.
- Skills: Teacher candidates accommodate diverse learning needs through informed decision-making that supports academic success for all students.
- Dispositions: Teacher candidates show respect for the diverse needs and talents of all learners and demonstrate commitment to helping them develop self-efficacy and achieve academic success.
Field experiences, too, are diverse. Interaction with students in a variety of settings helps teacher candidates confront issues of diversity that affect teaching and student learning. Strengthening teacher effectiveness in all contexts and with all students is the intended outcome.
Level I or “early” field experiences occur during freshman and sophomore years. Satisfactory completion of Level I Field Experiences is required for Professional Standing Level I and admission to (1) Professional Semester (early childhood and elementary majors) or (2) methods courses (all other education majors).
For more information about Professional Standing, refer to “Questions Frequently Asked” in the Office of Field Services Handbook.
Settings and Ativities
Education majors must document experience with children and youth in a variety of settings in urban, suburban and rural locations and with students having diverse learning needs. Settings may include public and private schools, summer camps, and daycare, church and community organizations. Activities may include tutoring, focused observing, team teaching, interviewing, and coaching.
Number of Hours of Eperience
The required number is determined by each certification program. Discuss with your academic advisor. Some hours may be “self-initiated”—that is, facilitated by you. Others will be course-required, for example, by Educational Psychology and American School.
CAUTION! - Do not contact a school or district and request an experience.
- School experiences require either (1) paperwork completed through the Office of Field Services or (2) a university professor's assistance with connecting you with a school. Complete and submit the Self-Initiated Experience Request Form to the Office of Field Services, Shippen 356.
- Clearances - Many schools, agencies and organizations require background and TB clearances.
Documentation of Field Experience Hours
- Elementary and early childhood majors document each experience on a LiveText log.
- All other education majors, document each experience on the form, Record of Level I Field Experience, and submit to your academic advisor.
Forms and Information