The Design of Clinical Experience in Teacher Preparation

Posted by on August 29, 2011

Learning to Practice: The Design of Clinical Experience in Teacher Preparation
Pam Grossman, The Partnership for Teacher Quality, May 2010

Few would disagree that clinical experience is critical for teacher development. Teaching is, after all, a demanding clinical practice, requiring teachers to orchestrate complex classroom interactions designed to help children learn. While clinical practice rests on a body of professional knowledge, ultimately teachers need to be able to put this knowledge to use in practice. Clinical experiences during professional education provide opportunities for teachers to develop and hone their craft. …Organizing professional education around the development of clinical skill requires multiple opportunities to practice and get feedback throughout a preparation program. Some of this practice can occur productively in designed settings or simulations. At some point, however, novices need structured opportunities to gain experience in authentic settings of actual teaching practice. Accordingly, all teacher education programs include field experiences in their curriculum; the nature of this experience, however, can vary widely.

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