Field and Clinical Experiences
Candidates in the Literacy Program build upon and apply what they learn in coursework through 185 hours of fieldwork experiences. Most of the fieldwork- related course projects can be accomplished in students’ own classrooms. If you are not currently working in a school setting, arrangements must be made, on your own or with the help of the Literacy Program, to allow you access to a classroom.
EDLIT 736, Diagnosis of Reading Difficulties, and ELDIT 737, Practicum in Remedial Reading, take place in two consecutive semesters. They require the course participant to work with a child (1st-3rd grade) in the Literacy Space one-on-one during part of the class time. In EDLIT 736, children are assessed using authentic tools and are observed while engaging in literacy activities. Parents are interviewed at the beginning of the program; and parent and course participants are in constant contact at the beginning and/or end of each session. Letters are sent to the parent and to the child’s school at the end of each semester describing the work done at Literacy Space. In EDLIT 737 the primary focus is on instruction. Course participants carefully develop and implement lesson plans that draw upon student interests in order to target areas of need. In small groups, course participants also plan and present Parent Workshops for the caregivers of the children. The two-semester sequence ends with a Reading Recital given by the children.
Additionally, in EDLIT 736, course participants are required to assess and tutor an older struggling reader (grades 4 and above) for 10 hours. These readers may be students of colleagues but not of your own. The days and times of the tutoring sessions are arranged by the course participants.
EDLIT 742, Literacy Practicum, requires the course participants to work in a classroom for 50 hours. You can use your own classroom to fulfill the 50-hour fieldwork. The course entails a weekly 50-minute seminar, a visit in your classroom by the professor, and a videotape of your teaching. A unique feature of this course is that the focus is on what you want/need to learn instead of what you can do well. Throughout the semester, you will be engaged in learning at the edge of your comfort zone, with the support of the professor and other course participants as your think tank.