A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD OR UNEQUAL FOOTING: EARLY FIELD EXPERIENCES AND THE ATTRIBUTES OF THE DIRECTOR OF FIELD EXPERIENCES AS THEY RELATE TO THE EXTENT OF SUPPORT SERVICES PROVIDED
DR. JONATHAN L. BLACK-BRANCH AND DR. WENDY K. LAMONT
AbstractStudents are shaped by both their experiences prior to entering their teacher training program and by those within training. As a result, teaching experience before entering the program is thought to come to bear on their success, or perhaps their need for support services within the program, particularly since many teacher education programs require some form of teaching experience as a prerequisite to admission. Moreover, their experience throughout the program is largely shaped by those with whom they have professional contact, namely, those supervising field placements. The purpose of this article is two-fold: first, to examine the literature on field experience and teacher wellness and second, to determine the attributes of the director of field experiences and the extent of support services provided. Discussion in the first section examines early field experiences had by student teachers prior to their entering teacher training programs, focusing on both the length and the intensity of such experiences, including such topics as mandatory early field experiences, exclusion of early field experiences, and length and intensity of early field experiences. The second section focuses on the role of the director of teacher education programs and the support services offered, examining the existing descriptions of directors toward building an understanding of a typical composite profile of the administrator of field studies.
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