Table of Contents
Philosophy of Teaching Program
Goals of the Student Teaching Program
Student Teaching Policies
The Report Process
Criteria for the Selection of Supervising Teachers
Responsibilities of the Supervising Teacher
Responsibilities of the Student Teacher
Responsibilities of the Principal
Responsibilities of the School Coordinator
Responsibilities of the University Supervisor
Responsibilities of the Director
Suggestions for Student Teacher Orientation
Proposed Sequencing for Student Teaching
Suggested Observation Techniques for Supervising Teachers
Conceptual Framework for Teacher Education
Criteria for an Assessment of Pedagogy
This guide is to provide information for supervising teachers concerning policies related to Northern Michigan University's student teaching program. Northern Michigan University strives for a high quality teacher preparation program based upon the premise of clearly defined purposes and knowledge of the roles of all persons concerned. This guide strives to further this knowledge, to foster a better understanding of the operation of Northern's student teaching program, to clarify the duties and responsibilities of those who participate in the program, to serve as a guide for providing the best possible experiences during student teaching, and to encourage a closer partnership between the University and the cooperating schools and teachers. A clearer understanding of the policies will assist in these cooperative efforts.
Student teaching is the most important experience in teacher education.
The Student Teaching Program at Northern Michigan University provides an opportunity to develop and evaluate the students' competence in an actual school setting. Student teaching is intended to bridge theory and practice. The relationship among university supervisor, supervising teacher, and student teacher influences the quality of the student teaching experience. The student teachers need competent and concerned supervisors to help them assume the full range of duties of a teacher. The supervising teacher is a vital influence in a student teacher's professional growth and development.
The major goal of the Student Teaching Program is to provide student teachers a challenging, relevant and rewarding experience, which will allow them to acquire professional competence. This includes the ability to:
The Director of Field Experiences is responsible for all student teaching assignments and policies.
I. Eligibility for Student Teaching
To be eligible for a student teaching placement, a student must meet all the criteria established by the School of Education. These academic and professional criteria are published in several documents, including the Undergraduate Bulletin.
Most students are assigned to selected schools in the Upper Peninsula and Northeastern Wisconsin. Placements are made in centers that are currently open. Students are not allowed to student teach at a school they attended or with which they or a close relative have been affiliated.
Accepting a student teacher is an important decision. Only teachers whom the school has recommended and who meet Northern's criteria will be considered for supervising student teachers. Teachers must first voluntarily decide if they are willing to work with student teachers. They should interview the prospective student teachers and have them spend some time in their classroom before student teaching to help insure a successful student teaching experience.
III. Liability Insurance
Northern Michigan University's legal liability insurance includes coverage for our students when performing services under the direction of the University when engaged in approved academic programs. This includes legal liability coverage for student teachers and their actions while placed in a student teaching situation. This coverage does not include activities outside of student teaching.
IV. Holding Jobs
Students are to free themselves of campus and work responsibilities during the week while student teaching to allow for a full-time commitment to teaching. Student teachers may work Friday evening (6:00 PM) to Sunday evening (6:00 PM). However, student teachers may be asked to terminate work should the activities interfere with their performance in school. Students may be involved in activities that are commonly done by teachers such as coaching and tutoring.
V. Additional Coursework
Students are encouraged to enroll in ED 222 Classroom Management or ED 223 Multicultural Education during student teaching. These classes are scheduled the morning of seminars and are valuable resources to the student teacher. Other than these two classes, additional coursework is discouraged, but students meeting several criteria may request an exception to this policy.
VI. The Calendar
During student teaching, all students are expected to begin with and adhere to the school calendar in the school district to which they are assigned. Vacations are scheduled according to the school district calendar. The final date of student teaching is generally the Wednesday before the end of Northern's semester. Other dates related to student teaching are listed on the Student Teaching Calendar given to each student and supervising teacher.
Student teachers are expected to be in attendance every day for a full day. Daily arrival and departure times will follow the daily schedule of the supervising teacher. Only two absences, whether for illness or personal reasons, are allowed. All other absences must be made up. Absences for personal business are discouraged. Students are expected to have affairs in order before student teaching begins. Student teachers are allowed two additional days for absences for teaching job interviews, if needed, and approved by the supervising teacher.
VIII. Seminar Attendance
Student teachers are required to attend all seminars, which are generally held on four Fridays during the student teaching semester. Seminars will include topics such as human relations, classroom management and organization, effective planning and teaching, placement, employment, certification, as well as other topics that address the needs and concerns of student teachers. Seminar dates are listed on the Student Teaching Calendar and in the schedule of classes. Student teachers will need to be excused from their classroom duties in time to attend these classes.
Students who enroll in student teaching make a commitment to the goals, responsibilities, and expectations outlined in this guide. The following procedure should be used when a student teacher has difficulty fulfilling these responsibilities:
- An initial conference on the matter between the supervising teacher and the student teacher should be held. Conferences should be held frequently between the supervising teacher and student teacher. Early identification and addressing of problems aids in their solution.
- If the problem is not resolved, the supervising teacher should contact the university supervisor and arrange a conference with the student teacher, the supervising teacher, and the university supervisor as soon as possible. The building administrator may need to be involved in the conference.
- If this procedure is ineffective in reaching resolution, the problem will be referred to the Director of Field Experiences. The Director will seek resolution and determine if reassignment or removal from student teaching should occur
X. Use of Student Teachers as Substitutes
NMU allows student teachers to substitute teach as part of their student teaching experience according to the following criteria/guidelines:
- Districts and supervising teachers must ensure that the quality of instruction provided to student teachers who are allowed to substitute teach is comparable to that required in our traditional student teaching program.
- Student teachers may substitute teach only in the classroom in which they are student teaching.
- Student teachers are not to substitute teach more than 10 days during their student teaching.
- The student teacher, cooperating teacher, school administrator/district, and university supervisor must approve of the substitute teaching.
- An accurate record of the dates and experiences must be kept by the school and available to the university.
- The substitute teaching must not conflict with a university supervisor's visit. The university supervisor must be notified in a timely manner so that it will not conflict with supervisory or student teaching responsibilities.
- The student teachers will be available to cover the supervising teacher's classroom on those days, such as TEAC meetings, where the absence of the supervisor from the classroom is necessary for the promotion of the student teacher program. This is part of student teaching and not considered substitute teaching for which they would be paid.
- The student teachers will be paid the same as a regular substitute teacher and meet the necessary requirements for substitute teaching by the district.
A supervising teacher is given an honorarium of either $100.00 for 16 weeks or tuition payment of two credits or $50.00 for 8 weeks or tuition payment of one credit for each student teacher they supervise during a semester (August-December or January-April). During the course of a semester, a Student Teaching Supervision Honorarium Report is mailed to the Coordinator of Student Teaching for each school. The Coordinator is asked to check with each supervising teacher which honorarium they prefer.
Please keep in mind that if the credit hour honorarium is preferred, this credit is to be used in taking classes at NMU. It may also be given to a person completing hours in a teacher preparation program (undergraduate or graduate). To register for a class and put your credit hour honorarium toward your tuition bill contact Nancy Anderson, Financial Services, 227-1462.
If you choose to accept the monetary honorarium, NMU will send a check in the name of your school district. The honorarium will then be dispersed by your Business Manager. If you have questions regarding either the monetary honorarium or credit hour honorarium, please contact the Field Experience Office at 227-2160.
Supervising teachers are to submit evaluation reports on-line as described in this section by the submission dates specified on the Student Teaching Calendar sent to supervising teachers. It is the responsibility of the supervising teacher and university supervisor to ensure that the student teacher receives timely and continuous feedback on his or her performance. The student recommended for certification must possess the skills and maturity to be a successful teacher.
Student Teacher Evaluation forms provide the supervisor with opportunities to identify the strengths and weaknesses of a student teacher. These reports profile the student’s competency in subject matter, instruction, assessment, and professionalism. Letter grades are not used for evaluating a student teacher's performance as they inhibit the development of the relationship between the supervising teacher and a student teacher.
At the end of the Mid-Term and Final Evaluation Forms, you will give the student teacher one of the following ratings:
P - Proficient; consistent, appropriate application, a solid performance
I - Improving; moving towards becoming proficient
B - Basic; minimal achievement, appropriate to situations
These ratings correlate to the final grades the student is to receive, unless otherwise specified by the supervising teacher.
Proficient = S (satisfactory with certification)
Improving = P (pass grade for credit but no certification)
Basic = U (unsatisfactory, no credit or certification)
For example, a supervising teacher may indicate the student teacher is improving, but feel that they should be certified. In that case, they could indicate this in the final comment section of the evaluation report.
The student teaching evaluation forms are based upon the duties of a teacher: knowledge base, instructional competence, assessment competence, and professionalism. Supervising teachers must determine whether these competencies are demonstrated by the student teacher to an adequate degree and then support their assessments. The duties listed on the evaluation of student teacher forms are described below and should be referred to in assessing the student teacher’s level of proficiency.
Supervising teachers are to check the appropriate level on the final evaluation.
The Michigan Department of Education requires all teacher preparation institutions to use the state approved criteria for assessment of entry-level pedagogical skills for each student teacher.
The evaluation criteria below also include in parentheses the numbers and letters of the standards and proficiencies from the Criteria for an Assessment of Pedagogy given at the end of this guide.
A. Knowledge Base
All preservice teachers must demonstrate a satisfactory level of competence in their subject matter and general knowledge through required courses and standardized tests before they are allowed to student teach. University students who do not meet minimal standards set by the University on general and specific content area tests and in performance in college courses are not admitted into teacher education or are not allowed to continue. The supervising teacher should evaluate whether the student can apply this knowledge effectively in a teaching situation and can meet the following criteria.
· Content areas. Understands the subject matter and current research (5a*). Demonstrates accurate, appropriate, and comprehensive knowledge about the subjects taught to the degree needed to effectively teach the curriculum (3f). Engages students in practical activities that demonstrate the relevance, purpose and function of the subject matter (3f). Integrates and transfers knowledge across subject areas (3c).
· General knowledge. Has an understanding and appreciation of the humanities, social sciences, arts, mathematical and natural sciences and technology (1a,1b,1h). Communicates the value of liberal arts knowledge to their students, including an appreciation of the interrelationships among subjects (1c). Demonstrates a global and multicultural perspective (1e,1f,1l). Accesses and uses updated information and procedures (3g).
*See the Appendix to find these Standards and Proficiencies from the Criteria for Assessment of Pedagogy.
B. Instructional Competence
Preservice teachers must not only have adequate knowledge, they must also be able to teach. The university evaluates these skills through testing, coursework and field experiences. Students unable to demonstrate adequate communication skills, as measured through standardized tests and required coursework, are not permitted to progress through the teacher education program. Through pre-student teaching field experiences, students' management skills are only superficially explored. Student teaching is the primary source of data for these skills. Lesson/unit planning and presentation, including the use of materials and technology, are taught and initially evaluated in the methods classes at the university.
1. Communication skills.
Communicates what is to be learned so that students understand and value the learning. Demonstrates effective speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills (1a). Uses appropriate and grammatically correct language. Has congruent verbal and nonverbal communication.
2. Management of students' behavior.
Controls classroom behavior in an effective and fair manner (2d). Organizes and manages classroom to maximize learning. Establishes and carries out effective classroom rules, procedures and routines. Provides a positive learning environment. Encourages individual responsibility (1k). Respects individual rights (1k).
3. Management of learning progress.
Manages learning progress so that the curriculum is covered appropriately and efficiently (5c). Makes smooth transitions and is able to handle varying ability levels and activities. Manages assignments and time efficiently. Ensures quality time on learning tasks and accomplishes what has to be done. Demonstrates knowledge about instructional management resources (7d). Uses high expectations for optimal achievement (3c).
4. Management of contingencies/emergencies.
Applies district and building policies (4f). Reasonably and responsibly copes with the frequent contingencies and occasional emergencies of classroom teaching. Demonstrates critical and creative thinking abilities through effective decision making under pressure. Ensures a safe and orderly environment conducive to learning (2d).
5. Lesson/unit planning.
Develops effective lessons and units within the contexts of the curriculum and assessment. Uses curricular frameworks as a means to developing student's inquiry and thinking skills (3g). Applies knowledge of human growth, development and learning theory (2a). Plans instruction to accommodate diversity (2e,2f,4a). Uses a variety of methodologies, technologies, and techniques (4b, 7d, 7e).
6. Lesson/unit presentation.
Presents lessons and units so that the instructional objectives are efficiently realized. Creates meaningful learning experiences that help all students understand the subject matter based on each student's abilities, attitudes, effort, culture, and achievement (2h). Expands cognitive, affective, physical and social capabilities of students (2b). Uses a variety of teaching methodologies, technologies, and techniques (4b, 7d,7e).
7. Use of materials and resources.
Is familiar with and able to use a variety of literacies, materials and resources (2i,7c). Selects, creates and incorporates appropriate instructional techniques, technology, and materials needed for instruction (7a, 7e). Demonstrates current knowledge about instruction, resources and technology (7b,7c). Helps students access and use information technology and other resources to become independent learners and problem solvers (3b).
C. Assessment Competence
Preservice teachers are taught about assessment but have little practical knowledge before student teaching. Assessing, grading and reporting are essential elements in teaching introduced in education classes and concurrent field experiences. Accurate self-evaluation of teaching and curricula are encouraged throughout the program.
1. Selection, creation and use of student assessments.
Understands evaluation and assessment, including test construction and administration (4e). Knows and uses multiple approaches to assess student abilities and the merit of a student's work (2g). Values and develops a variety of reliable and valid assessment measures.
2. Grading and reporting student achievement.
Understands and appreciates the grading/ranking/scoring process and how to report achievement. Grades and reports fairly, honestly, clearly, consistently, efficiently, and helpfully. Uses technology to organize, manage, evaluate, and communicate information about student performance. (7d)
3. Evaluation of teaching, materials, and curriculum.
Assesses instructional, assessment, and professional competence of themselves and others (4b). Self evaluates and reflects on the course, materials, and curriculum and makes improvements (5h). Uses assessments to inform instruction.
The preservice education program tries to select students who have the attributes needed in a professional educator and to develop these attributes through the experiences required of these students and the expectations held for them.
1. Professional ethics.
Understands the value of education and the role of intellectual and ethical values (1d,7f). Models moral standards that are expected in the profession, such as confidentiality, fairness, honesty, trustworthiness, and integrity. Models a commitment to intellectual, moral and professional virtues.
2. Professional attitude.
Collaborates with all stakeholders in education (6d,6e). Values learning, students, teaching, and schooling (5h). Demonstrates openness, courtesy, conscientiousness, reliability, caring, and compassion. Identifies with professional educators. Dresses and behaves professionally. Discerns the extent to which personal belief systems and values may affect the instructional process (2c).
3. Professional development/service.
Is involved in professional development and service activities (7g). Performs non-teaching duties required of a teacher such as administrative tasks (attendance, out-of-class supervision) and school or community services (committee work, participation in events). Accepts teaching as a lifelong learning process and continues efforts to develop and improve (5e). Uses community and home resources to enhance school programs (6a,6b).
4. Knowledge and execution of duties.
Understands and effectively deals with issues of professional policy and practice at local, state, national, and international levels (5d,6c). Understands responsibilities associated with being a competent professional, including following laws, regulations, policies, requirements and procedures (4f). Involves and works effectively with all support personnel (4c). Exercises good judgment in planning and managing time and other resources (5b).
5. Knowledge of the school and its context.
Understands the evolution of education and the teacher’s role in a changing society(5g). Understands the special characteristics and circumstances related to the students, staff, school, and community(4a,5f). Develops practices to promote collaborative, supportive interaction in the classroom, school and community (4d,6d,6e). Demonstrates an understanding of the economic, social, political, legal and organizational foundations and functions of schools (5d).
6. Human relations.
Establishes positive and effective relationships with students, parents, colleagues, administrators, and community members (1f,5f). Demonstrates appreciation of cultural diversity, individual differences and exceptionalities of students (2e,2f). Discourages prejudice and unfair discrimination in their classrooms. Understands and respects varying points of view and the influence of one’s own on others (1g).
Electronic versions of all reports may be obtained from the following website: http://www.nmu.edu/education/studentteaching.htm
I. The First Progress Report
The First Progress Report is submitted on-line according to the Student Teaching Calendar. This report is an assessment of the student teacher's baseline performance and relays important information about the student's competencies to the university supervisor and the Director of Field Experiences. The supervising teachers should indicate any initial concerns they may have on this form. The students teacher should have taught one full day before sending in this report.
II. The Mid-Term and Final Evaluation
The Mid-Term Evaluation is submitted on-line halfway through the semester and the Final Evaluation is completed on-line during the last full week of student teaching. At the end of the Mid-Term Evaluation the supervising teacher should indicate the student teacher’s performance level under “Mid-Term Evaluation” for the mid-term and “Final Evaluation” for the Final. The supervising teachers should include the student teacher’s, the University Supervisor’s and their email address at the end of the form before submitting the evaluation to NMU so each party will have it for their files. The supervising teacher is to make additional comments to extend or substantiate the profile.
III. The University Supervisor’s Report
The University Supervisor's Report uses the similar categories to the evaluation forms used by the supervising teacher in the first progress report. The university supervisor should make at least one visitation each calendar month of student teaching. The university supervisors complete a report and share their observations with the student teachers and supervising teachers following each observation. University supervisors are encouraged to help student teachers evaluate themselves through such techniques as conferencing, surveying, and videotaping. The university supervisor should consult with the supervising teacher concerning the student teacher's progress during each visit and, if needed, between visits.
The University Supervisor will complete the University Supervisor’s Final Evaluation of Student Teacher on-line for submission to the University. The University Supervisor will include the email addresses of supervising teachers and student teachers, when known, so that they will have a copy for their files.
Because of the importance of the supervising teacher, criteria have been developed for their selection. These criteria grow out of the general policies and understanding that form the basis for the Agreement on Student Teaching that is executed between Northern Michigan University and the cooperating schools. These criteria are similar to those used by teacher education institutions across the nation. Their objective is to define a relationship between the University and the supervising teachers, and between the supervising teachers and the students, who may be assigned to them. The following criteria are required. The qualified supervising teacher:
The following list of responsibilities will enable the supervising teacher to determine what activities are necessary in order to assist the student teacher:
The following list of responsibilities for the student teacher will help ensure a rewarding student teaching experience:
The following list of responsibilities will assist the principal in helping the student teacher become a member of the school community:
The following list of responsibilities will assist the school coordinator to locate placements in the school building for student teachers and help the program to run smoothly:
The following list of responsibilities will guide the university supervisor in assisting the professional relationship between the student teacher and the school community:
The following list of responsibilities will assist the director to uphold a high quality program that fosters the growth and professional development of all individuals concerned:
Each supervising teacher must decide how quickly the student teacher should begin teaching. The supervising teacher may want to consult with the university supervisor in determining how quickly the student teacher should assume his or her duties. Factors such as the knowledge, ability, and maturity of the student teacher and the temperament of the class will affect this decision.
The student teacher's adjustment to the classroom and assumption of the teaching load will depend upon the individual student, the situation and the supervising teacher. All students are expected to successfully teach one full day before the first progress report, one week before the mid-term report and two additional weeks before the final report. Failure to meet these requirements indicates a weakness in the student teacher’s progress. The following list identifies activities, which can assist in the adjustment to the classroom and the assumption of the teaching load.
I. Orientation to Total School System
II. Orientation to Building
III. Classroom-Related Experiences
IV. Co-curricular Experiences
All student teachers will have had classroom experiences as part of their teacher education preparation before they student teach and should be able to take over responsibilities quickly and effectively. Student teachers should gradually assume all duties of the teacher. It is recommended that the students have an opportunity to gradually give up their duties as they end their student teaching. It is important that the student teacher be left alone in the classroom. The supervising teacher can use this time for professional development or service. Below are some suggestions for sequencing the student teaching experience.
Semester before student teaching
First day of student teaching
First week of student teaching
The following strategies will assist the supervising teacher and the student teacher in addressing three typically challenging areas:
Providing for Initial Success
Giving Feedback: Evaluating Student Teaching Performance
Directing the Development of Classroom Management Skills
Beginning of Class Activities
Classroom Management of Media and Materials
Media in the Classroom
Talking out loud (Interrupting)
Writing and/or passing notes
Reading during lecture or discussion
Inappropriate responses or questions
Getting out of seats without permission
Students who do not have materials
Students chewing gum or eating candy
Effort to try
Teacher’s Response to Student Behaviors (Discipline)
Ending of Class Activities (Closure)
Quiet Good classroom management and control
Attentive Chairs/desks straightened
Lots of participation Student’s work displayed
Lots of disruptions Creative bulletin boards
Sitting up attentively Windows
Slouching or leaning back on chairs No windows
Students interacting (instead of listening Organized look to the room
and participating) Messy look to the room
Students making fun of others Teacher seems intimidating
Students accepting each other Teacher and students seem relaxed
Cheerful, friendly students Others
Rowdy, noisy, and/or crabby students
Teacher Personal Characteristics
Calm Rarely compliments Intimidating
Pleasant Friendly Energetic
Angry Dresses neatly Recognizes group effort
Enthusiastic Sloppy dress Recognizes individual effort
Firm Confident Compliments easily and often
Fair Prepared Easily flustered
Strict Organized Admits errors
Sense of humor Listens to students Can think on his/her feet
Relaxed (laid back) Understanding, caring Shares relevant personal stories
Tense Stays mostly in one place
Excitable Walks around the room
A conceptual framework for teacher education should begin with a definition of education. After all, assumptions about education (sometimes explicit, but more often implicit) pervade all teacher education programs. Israel Scheffler offered the following definition that informs our teacher education program:[Education is] the formation of habits of judgment and the development of character, the elevation of standards, the facilitation of understanding, the development of taste and discrimination, the stimulation of curiosity and wondering, the fostering of style and a sense of beauty, the growth of a thirst for new ideas and vision of the yet unknown.
In keeping with Scheffler’s definition, NMU teacher educators accept a unique responsibility, for we understand that effective teaching constitutes both the desired outcome and the desired means for achieving that outcome. The dynamics of effective teaching occur in our program in the following concomitant ways:
In addition to a definition of education, three questions shape the development of our conceptual framework: (1) What is the nature of teaching, both as we practice it and as we wish our candidates to? (2) What are the models of learning we wish to develop in our candidates and practice within our faculty? (3) What is the knowledge base we wish to incorporate in our instructional program?
Teaching is essentially axiological: it is grounded in ethical and aesthetic values. Teaching ethically means addressing the full range of human diversity as it impacts on the learning of individual students and the class. It also means that our candidates and we have the right and responsibility to construct meaning within the diverse and common visions of the good. Teaching aesthetically requires imagination, passion, and a strong grounding in the techniques and foundations of the genre. To define teaching aesthetically, we move beyond a language of competence to articulate a vision of the ideal. By articulating such a vision, we challenge many of the reified assumptions in the discourse of contemporary education, and thereby move our teaching and that of our candidates ever closer to enacting transformative educational practices.
Our vision includes valuing collaboration, acknowledging that theory derives from practice, and viewing the professor as one learner among many. The instructional strategies we model go beyond the didactic to include community building, candidate-directed group work and discussions, opportunities for feedback, coaching, and individual criticism. Extensive opportunities for field experience in all phases of the program ensure relevant contexts for our practice and enable teacher candidates to learn from teachers and students in K-12 settings. As learners ourselves, we are responsible for continual improvement of our courses, inviting candidate evaluation through discussion and critique so that candidates contribute to course design and revision. As a school, we are committed to a process of ongoing reexamination to improve all aspects of our program.
The knowledge base that supports candidate performance in a variety of settings derives from candidate experiences in authentic educational settings, the best available research on what constitutes good teaching practices, and that which is consonant with the Michigan entry-level standards for teacher candidates and continuing certification standards for teachers, the Michigan subject matter content standards, and the Michigan teaching and learning standards.
Derivative #1: Habits of Judgment and Development of Character
A derivative that explores habits of judgment and development of character highlights two qualities of Scheffler’s definition. What follows from taking these qualities seriously? For us as teacher educators, what most clearly follows is that the teachers we prepare must themselves be capable of making judgments (and be in the habit of actually doing so) and must be of good character.
Given that schools are reflective of the society in which they exist, and given that schools also help shape the future of our society, taking the development of character and judgment seriously also means that we develop in our candidates a commitment to social justice and the role schools have to play in its attainment.
Moreover, taking this derivative seriously commits us as a faculty to developing both habits of mind and habits of the heart that will lead to a practice steeped in reflection and judgment and based in the ethics that define good character. The following actions serve to help our candidates and our program achieve these aims:
Derivative #2: Teaching as Artistry
A derivative that explores teaching as artistry centers on two related sets of propositions implicit in the definition of education as given in the conceptual framework: (1) teaching is an ethical activity, and (2) teaching is a rational activity.
As an ethical activity, teaching requires, among other things, that teachers value their students. Valuing, as in appreciation, however, carries a connotation of the aesthetic. Thus to act in a fully ethical manner, teachers must also act aesthetically. That is, they must exhibit artistry in the practice of their craft and must develop, as suggested in Scheffler’s definition, a sense of taste and discrimination in appraising the practice of others. Eliot Eisner supports this notion when he argues that becoming a connoisseur of excellent teaching is essential to becoming an excellent teacher. Because artistry and connoisseurship are best developed in the context of the studio, ethical teacher education must be field-based where candidates may observe master teachers and have increasing opportunities to practice their own teaching.
Because teaching is also a rational activity, reasons must be given for judging a particular teaching performance as art. These reasons can be adduced by examining behaviors in the visual and performing arts and drawing parallels for teaching. The following list is suggestive only and in no way exhausts possible behaviors:
Finally, because one does not value one’s students in the aggregate, it is essential for ethical and aesthetic teaching that class sizes be maintained that allow for individual attention and interaction.
Derivative #3: Subject Matter Content as Medium
A derivative that explores subject matter content as medium arises from Scheffler’s definition of education and our claim that teaching is an art, grounded in ethical and aesthetic qualities. Therefore, mastery of subject matter content, which receives so much attention in educational reform initiatives, is not the primary aim of education; rather, subject matter content is the medium through which teachers and students form habits of judgment, develop character, and so on. By reconceptualizing the subject matter content metaphor from object to medium, we seek to expand the possibilities of ways in which teachers and students engage one another in the daily practice of educating themselves.
The artfulness of teaching is a fusing of pedagogy and content. Teachers make pedagogical judgments about what content to address and how to design classroom experiences that will assist students in engaging this content as a means to expand and deepen their own learning. The task of the teacher is to design learning experiences that will enable students to develop their own capacity for understanding (i.e., form habits of judgment, etc.).
Students are not objects, either. Subject matter content is the medium through which teaching/learning relationships among teachers and students develop. As Patricia Hinchey and others point out, content is a matter of human interpretation, and not something existing independently in the world just waiting for us to find. Instead, content becomes a dynamic medium through which human beings examine data (facts, artifacts, and so on) and assign meaning to it. Knowledge arises from the sense that humans make through engaging the medium of content.
The following characteristics (suggestive and not comprehensive) describe learning environments in which subject matter content is the medium for education:
Derivative #4: Race, Culture, and Social Justice
A derivative that explores race, culture, and social justice attempts to call into question the social and political agenda in this country that has long included (and in some ways continues to be) the myth of cultural assimilation and the practice of racial hegemony. A by-product of such a view has helped to create and sustain perceptual differentiations of some U. S. citizens in ways that have led to stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination.
Drawing on our view of education, as embodied in Scheffler’s definition and the three fundamental questions, we must include a commitment to providing experiences that foster a critical understanding of the central role of racial and cultural differences (both historically and contemporarily) in this country.
This derivative focuses on an explicit paradigm of teaching that reflects an inclusive view of diversity and of social justice. Given the social and political implications related to this part of the conceptual framework, the following perspectives constitute basic pursuits in teaching with a stance toward diversity:
Derivative #5: Technology
In exploring a derivate that addresses technology, we do not intend to imply that technology in and of itself is as fundamental to our conceptual framework as our other derivatives. Technology is a means to informing, and not necessarily to understanding or to knowing. Therefore, technology must speak to the present and future social realities and possibilities that impact the quality of life, learning and growth (education) we expound, model and seek to empower. How can technologies be employed to move our practice and that of our candidates ever closer to the ideal? How can technology be employed in the formation of habits of judgment, facilitation of understanding, development of taste and discrimination, stimulation of curiosity and the thirst for new ideas and vision of the yet unknown? How can the critical exploration of the use and misuse, culturally diverse and unequal use and access and costs and consequences of technology be addressed within our work with candidates and the future use of technology in their classrooms with their students?
Technology as a knowledge base, medium of instruction and communication, and medium of research and professional development offers possibilities to educators at all levels. Yet, it must find an appropriate integration in our work, as a means to an end and not an end in itself. Technological knowledge must serve to promote and ensure collaborative and ethical work, must engage users in critical and creative thinking and problem solving that supports candidate construction of meaning, must be weighted in light of student diversity and cultural differences and most essentially social justice and equity of access and opportunity (the digital divide).
The increasing presence and power of technology to change all realms of our society mandates that educators strive to develop and maintain technological literacy in order to integrate various forms of technology within their instructional practice and as a means of modeling and engaging students in critical and ethical analysis of emerging forms of global communication, interaction and research. Both skills and habits of critical literacy need to be integrated into educational experiences that prepare teachers for creative adaptation to change and as agents of transformation within schools. The following actions serve to move these goals along:
Guide to Student Teaching Supervision, 9/12/03