Fieldwork and Student Teaching
Undergraduate Childhood Education students in the Quality Urban Elementary School Teachers (QUEST) program will learn about the design and performance of instruction through extensive field experiences in New York City classrooms, grades 1-6. Hunter College’s rich tradition in teacher education is based on a commitment to preparing effective educators for the rewarding challenges of an urban public school system. Teacher candidates in this clinically-rich program can expect to work closely with faculty whose goal it is to provide them with a variety of mentored field and student teaching experiences in diverse settings. QUEST students complete three semesters as fieldwork interns prior to student teaching in their final semester.
The Field Internship
The three semesters that QUEST students spend as field interns are designed to give them a developing awareness of how classrooms function and how teaching works. Thus, the teacher candidate’s responsibility should grow from the first to the last course, and teacher candidates will receive specific feedback in each subject area from their seminar instructors, cooperating teachers, and supervisors. Field interns will find that they will acquire and refine teaching skills through a progressive approach that begins with work with individual students and small groups, and culminates with the leading of entire classes. Over the course of these experiences, field interns will gain and apply knowledge of effective teaching techniques and various curricular materials. Additionally, teacher candidates will develop a sense of responsibility appropriate to the teaching profession, and an awareness of and sensitivity to the cultural diversity of students.
QUEST students complete each semester of field internship in conjunction with two required methods and content courses. Field interns are assigned by the Office of Childhood Clinical Experiences to one classroom placement for each semester-long experience, which requires that they be in the field one day per week from 8 am to 3 pm.
Coursework with Field Experience Requirements
Students in fieldwork 1 are in the classroom for the first time and will be seeking to develop observation skills, acquire practical knowledge of the design and management of instruction and the classroom environment, and work effectively with individuals and small groups of children. The field intern’s objective is to transition from pure observation to working with small groups of children.
This fieldwork experience is paired with two courses that will guide classroom observations and pedagogical development:
- Child Growth & Development
- Developmental Reading
Students in fieldwork 2 are in the classroom for the second time and will continue to work with individuals and small groups, but also expand their experience by starting to work with the whole class.
This fieldwork experience is paired with two courses that will guide classroom observations and teaching experiences:
- Literacy Across the Content Areas
- Teaching Social Studies through the Arts, and Technology in Elementary Schools
Students in fieldwork 3 have had two semesters of prior fieldwork experience in the classroom and will continue to work with individuals, small groups, and the class as a whole. During this experience field interns are expected to hone their teaching skills in preparation for the additional demands and responsibilities of student teaching.
- Mathematics Teaching and Learning in Elementary Schools
- Psychology of Teaching and Learning
Student teaching is the point in the teacher education program in which QUEST students have a chance to experience all of the complexities of a real teaching experience, but still have the support of their seminar instructors, cooperating teachers, and supervisors. Student teaching occurs in conjunction with a seminar that is designed to support and enhance the work a student teacher does in the field.
Student teachers are required to be in the field Mondays through Fridays from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm. QUEST student teachers are assigned by the Office of Childhood Clinical Experiences to one classroom placement for this semester-long experience.