The purpose of field experiences at the University of Memphis is to allow students to observe and interact with teachers, students, and other support personnel in diverse school settings as well as other community settings. Extensive experiences in structured observations, tutoring, small group instruction and whole class instruction are required to provide a meaningful developmental transition from theory to practical application, culminating in a year-long residency as part of the teaching education program or clinical teaching semester in the case of graduate candidates.
All field experiences for initial licensure and advanced programs are designed, implemented and evaluated with the ultimate goal of developing educational leaders. As students interact with professionals in a variety of school and community sites and agencies, further development of content, professional, and pedagogical knowledge, skills, and dispositions is enhanced. The candidate has the opportunity to apply the understanding, skills and dispositions in real world settings and reflect on their impact on student learning.
- At the undergraduate level, over 70 field experience hours are required prior to the year-long residency.
- At the graduate level field experience hours total at least 60 prior to clinical teaching. More may be required for specific graduate programs. The number of hours required for specific classes will be denoted in the syllabus passed out at the beginning of the class. Please be aware that hours do not include travel time to and from the schools. The student is responsible for his/her own transportation. Field experience hours are completed outside the scheduled class time in most instances.
- Students are expected to complete hours in urban, suburban, and rural public school settings. Field experiences will reflect the diverse student population of The University of Memphis area and will provide for a multicultural experience.
- Students do not make their own field experience placements. The process is handled through the Office of School Based Clinical Practice. Professors will handle paperwork and will notify students of approval of placements. Students are not to call schools or go to schools until there has been approval.
- All field experiences will be structured in such a manner as to reflect a developmental, sequential approach to teacher education. Observation will be followed by tutoring, small group instruction, and large group instruction. Students will be supervised by university personnel. Field experiences are a required part of the teacher education program except for candidates on a Job Embedded Practitioner (JEP). Students must spend time in schools in classrooms to develop requisite skills for the clinical teaching semester or year-long residency.