Category B: Curriculum and Fieldwork

Standard 9: Integrating the Curriculum through Clinical Experiences

The program provides fieldwork and/or clinical experiences that are articulated with courses to allow candidates to develop competency through work at sites where the instructional approaches and methods are consistent with a balanced, comprehensive program of reading and literacy instruction. Fieldwork and/or clinical experiences must include on-going guidance, assistance, and feedback by the instructor, professor, or other designated, qualified personnel (in conjunction with program faculty) to ensure that candidates have an opportunity to practice and demonstrate the knowledge and skills identified in Standards 7 and 8.

The program is designed to provide comprehensive field experiences for candidates to demonstrate understanding of assessment and instruction of all elements of a literacy program that effectively supports student literacy development. The courses in the program have been structured to include field-based assignments that allow candidates to demonstrate their abilities to apply course content across a range of literacy areas and educational contexts. For example, in LEE 213: Teaching the Language Arts K-12 candidates complete a Theory to Practice project and in LEE 215: Language Issues in Reading candidates complete a Lesson Demonstration Presentation; both of these assignments require candidates to apply research-based instructional strategies in their own classrooms and then demonstrate their knowledge of these areas by presenting their experiences in class (See LEE 213: Teaching the Language Arts K-12, p.3; LEE 215: Language Issues in Reading, p. 4). LEE 224: Assessment & Development of Reading Abilities includes two field-based assessment projects. In each project, candidates demonstrate their abilities to administer and interpret formative, diagnostic assessments and use the assessment results to design differentiated instructional plans (See LEE 224: Assessment & Development of Reading Abilities, p. 3). Small-group tutoring and individual intensive intervention clinical experiences provide candidates opportunities to demonstrate their abilities to cohesively unite the assessment and instructional knowledge gained throughout the program.  Candidates administer and interpret formative assessments to design an intervention plan. During tutoring sessions, candidates implement the selected instructional strategies and administer formative assessments to monitor student progress. At the conclusion of these tutoring/intervention experiences, candidates administer summative assessments to evaluate student progress (See LEE 230: Supervised Teaching of Reading/Language Arts, p. 4; LEE 234: Clinical Experiences in Reading Assessment & Instruction, p.4).

All field sites and clinical settings include instructional approaches and methods consistent with a balanced, comprehensive program of literacy instruction. Fieldwork is supported by on-going guidance, assistance, and feedback from the instructor. Candidates are provided continuous feedback and guidance on extended projects, such as the Theory to Practice project, Teaching Strategies journal, and Assessment Projects. Class time is dedicated to project workshops, so the instructor can collaborate with candidates to review assignment requirements, discuss progress, and address challenges (See Course Schedules LEE 213: Teaching the Language Arts K-12, p.6; LEE 215: Language Issues in Reading, p. 7; LEE 224: Assessment & Development of Reading Abilities, p. 6). Clinical fieldwork is supervised and includes a variety of mechanisms for feedback and guidance. Instructional lesson plans are submitted on a weekly basis and student progress monitoring reports are submitted at midterm. The instructor reviews and provides candidates feedback on these items in a timely manner to evaluate and support candidates’ instructional decision-making. In addition, the instructor conducts on-site observations of tutoring sessions to provide feedback on candidates’ instructional and assessment practices at the point of need (See LEE 230: Supervised Teaching of Reading/Language Arts, p. 4; LEE 234: Clinical Experiences in Reading Assessment & Instruction, p.4). The coaching fieldwork is also supported through supervision and supportive guidance. Candidates submit discussion posts about their coaching experiences and video and/or audio evidence of their coaching sessions. The instructor reviews these materials and provides candidates feedback in a timely manner to support the literacy mentorship process (See LEE 254: Supervised Field Experiences in Reading, p.3).

The program provides candidates multiple opportunities to integrate research and practice by using research-based strategies at multiple sites or the district level to: assess the needs of students most at risk of failure, evaluate the current instructional practices and use of district- adopted instructional materials at those locations, implement appropriate research-based instructional and intervention strategies, and evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention. Candidates will have the opportunity to create professional development and coaching/mentoring procedures to support adoption of new instructional or intervention strategies.

The program provides candidates with opportunities to evaluate research and integrate the research in classroom contexts. Course assignments provide candidates opportunities to apply research in developing and implementing instructional lessons in their own classroom. For example, in LEE 213: Teaching the Language Arts K-12 candidates are required to complete a Theory to Practice project. Candidates review and evaluate research on a literacy topic of interest and use this inquiry to develop and implement instructional lessons in the field (See LEE 213: Teaching the Language Arts K-12, p.3). Candidates are provided similar opportunities in LEE 215: Language Issues in Reading, in which the field experiences emphasize applying research-based instructional strategies with linguistically diverse students (See LEE 215: Language Issues in Reading, p. 4).

Field-based assignments and clinical experiences provide candidates opportunities to apply assessment and differentiation research in the field. In LEE 224: Assessment & Development of Reading Abilities candidates are required to complete two assessment projects. Candidates administer assessments across a range of literacy areas, interpret the results, and then complete a diagnostic report detailing a plan of differentiated instruction and/or intervention (See LEE 224: Assessment & Development of Reading Abilities, p. 3-4). Supervised clinical experiences provide candidates with extensive opportunities to administer assessments, design, and deliver differentiated instruction through small-group tutoring and intensive individual intervention. (See LEE 230: Supervised Teaching of Reading/Language Arts, p. 4; LEE 234: Clinical Experiences in Reading Assessment & Instruction, p.4). Candidates then apply this knowledge and experience to their collaborative work with colleagues in a coaching experience. Through a semester-long professional development process, candidates mentor/coach an individual teacher and/or grade-level team in the implementation of various instructional and intervention strategies (See LEE 254: Supervised Field Experiences in Reading, p.3).

The program provides opportunities for candidates to improve the literacy skills of the full range of learners including beginning, intermediate and adolescent readers, English learners, and students with reading difficulties and to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention and extended support currently offered to students using standards-aligned and state- and/or district- adopted instructional materials and to implement alternative or additional instructional approaches and materials, as appropriate.

The program provides opportunities for candidates to develop competence in addressing the literacy acquisition needs of the full range of learners. The program provides candidates multiple opportunities to plan and implement lessons with students from various age, grade, and demographic groups. Many of these experiences take place in the candidates’ own classrooms in Central Valley schools, with approximately 50% Latino/Hispanic students, 37% English Learners, and 25% students living in poverty. By the nature of these statistics, candidates are primarily working with students from diverse ethnic, cultural, gender, linguistic, and socio-economic backgrounds. Specific course assignments and clinical experiences require candidates to plan and deliver lessons to students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. (See LEE 215: Language Issues in Reading, p. 4; LEE 230: Supervised Teaching of Reading/Language Arts, p. 14; LEE 234: Clinical Experiences in Reading Assessment & Instruction, p. 13).

In addition, field experiences ensure that candidates have opportunities to work with students at both early (PreK-3) and intermediate (4th grade and up) levels of literacy acquisition. The Theory to Practice project, the Teaching Strategies assignments and the Clinical Field Experiences require candidates to work with PreK-Adult students (See LEE 213: Teaching the Language Arts K-12, p.3; LEE 215: Language Issues in Reading, p. 4; LEE 230: Supervised Teaching of Reading/Language Arts, p. 4; LEE 234: Clinical Experiences in Reading Assessment & Instruction, p.4). The assessment projects for LEE 224 provide specific opportunities for candidates to work with students from both specified ranges. One project must be completed with an early reader (PreK-3), and one project must be completed with an intermediate reader (4th grade to adult) (See LEE 224: Assessment & Development of Reading Abilities, p. 3).

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