Professional Development & Field Experiences

Dr. Kathryn Ricketts

An essential ingredient in the Faculty's success in the integration of theory and practice in its teacher education programs is the 'field component'. Programs preparing teachers for the K-12 school system incorporate this component in every year of students’ learning experience.

The 'practica' in our teacher education programs go far beyond simply providing 'experience' in classrooms. Rather they comprise a developmental socialization process to the profession of teaching. The goal of these field experiences is to enable students to become more other oriented towards school children and their families, more skillful at transforming subject area content knowledge into forms that are pedagogically powerful, and more knowledgeable about curriculum, educational contexts, and purposes. The Faculty of Education, as a professional school, is committed to assisting individuals in becoming knowledgeable, competent and caring teachers. These 'knowing', 'doing', and 'being' aspects demand an interactive approach between the theories taught in the university courses and the practices of the teaching profession, in order to ensure the formation of a strong professional identity.

Each program in the faculty contains at least three major practicum experiences. The first-year practicum experience is an introduction to schools, an exploration of the various roles in education. More extensive development occurs in the pre-internship year. It is at this level that students experience the link between theory and practice since education courses over two semesters are coordinated with the practicum. An intensive 16-week internship, under the daily supervision of a cooperating teacher, has over the years become the 'flagship' of the Faculty of Education. The two-day Internship Seminar for cooperating teachers and interns, which has a long history of strong support by the partners in education in Saskatchewan, is unique in Canada.

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