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What has been done to respond to the feedback Teacher Candidates gave the administration last year in surveys and focus groups?
McNay & Zuber: Here are some of the steps we have taken to address issues for the coming year:
- alerted instructors to concerns about your workload, and encouraged them to review the number and types of readings and assignments they require;
- alerted instructors to concerns about course overlap and repetition, and provided them with resources to help them review their course content in comparison with other courses;
- reminded instructors about challenges faced by Teacher Candidates who commute, have part-time jobs, etc., and encouraged them to continue to be flexible with types of assignments, amount of group work, due dates, etc.
- redesigned some courses:
- combined last year’s course on Assessment with last year’s course on Research to make one new course that is more relevant to practice;
- appointed Bill Tucker to streamline the course outline and teach large group sessions in Social Foundations; appointed several new instructors and TAs for small group classes in Social Foundations, and organized the small group classes by specialty area so you will have opportunity to get to know others in your specialty area a little better;
- increased time for Classroom Management, now called Classroom Environments;
- acquired new resources to support instructors and TAs teaching auditorium classes and lessen the need for formal lectures;
- gave Year 2 curriculum instructors (Art, Music, Dance & Drama, and Physical Education) an opportunity to plan together and share assignments;
- added a new staff member to the Teacher Education Office whose responsibilities include
- improving communication with Teacher Candidates, and
- providing support for Teacher Candidates as they arrange Alternative Field Experiences;
- appointed a new Manager for Practicum with a revised set of responsibilities;
- involved members of Students’ Council in planning Orientation, T2P, and other activities;
- expanded the number of boards available for Practicum 2 placements;
- added electrical plug-ins in the student common room.
This week’s Expert Contributors:
- Dr. Margaret McNay, Associate Dean
- Anna Zuber, Program Manager