6.1 Clinical Practice Narrative and Table
Clinical Practice Narrative & Theoretical Approach
Clinical Practice experiences in the Cal Poly School of Education are deeply grounded in Learn by Doing; future educators work alongside experts in the field to hone their craft through a gradual release of responsibility. This Learn by Doing approach embeds Cal Poly’s innovative polytechnic approach to higher education with best practices and theories in education by building a Community of Practice that emphasizes continuous improvement and a culture of shared learning.
In order to build a successful Learn by Doing Clinical Practice program, great care and thought goes into articulating all facets of the clinical experience, including: roles, coaching, language, and the supports that are leveraged at each phase of field experience. By intentionally articulating shared principles and values throughout Clinical Practice, the SOE builds meaningful connections between the Cal Poly campus and the field.
In the SOE, Clinical Practice roles and responsibilities are expressed through The Triad, a designed collaboration between the Teacher Candidate, Cooperating Teacher, and Clinical Practice University Supervisor. Each member of the Triad participates in learning experiences that help to create a Community of Practice based on shared language, best practices, and theories. This ensures that the strategies, coaching, and evaluation that Teacher Candidates experience in the field are consistent with the theories and language promoted in SOE coursework.
The Cal Poly School of Education further advances a shared vision of effective teaching and learning through the SOE Observation Tool, which articulates 17 Prioritized Skills at the center of effective teaching practice. While future educators study the theories and best practices behind these Prioritized Skills in their coursework, the SOE offers workshops and professional development resources for Cooperating Teachers, school site administrators, and our surrounding community in order to norm our collective understanding of the SOE Observation tool, and to encourage common language. By developing shared expectations and norms grounded in the Observation Tool, we tighten the relationship between the School of Education and fieldwork sites, creating a more coherent experience for our Teacher Candidates. Fostering this shared vision of teaching and learning also serves to demystify effective teaching practice and reveals a transparent development path for Teacher Candidates as they uncover and honor their own craft as future master teachers.
The final linchpin in Cal Poly’s approach to Clinical Practice is building a community and experience that encourages continuous growth and improvement, along with the risk-taking that is inherent in that process. The Learn by Doing approach requires future educators, and the experts with whom they work alongside, to be open to new ideas, implement innovative strategies, assess, and reflect on resulting successes and inevitable failures. Developing these practices requires vulnerability, willingness to change, and the ability to own missteps. By encouraging these habits, however, the SOE ensures that future educators will be prepared for advanced studies in education, action research, and a commitment to continuous growth that will improve their practice and the outcomes of their students throughout their careers.
In the Cal Poly SOE, a key component of effective clinical practice is understanding that a teacher candidate and a cooperating teacher are engaged in co-teaching. That is, they are both working to further the growth, development, and learning of a classroom of children. The SOE encourages close communication to determine how each teacher will contribute to the running of the classroom and the conduct of instruction. In a well-developed co-teaching relationship, the Teacher Candidate and Cooperating Teacher work together daily in lesson planning, conducting instruction, and evaluating student learning from assessments. The SOE defines a variety of specific instructional strategies to assist Cooperating Teachers and their Teacher Candidates in identifying ways they can choose to work together during classroom instruction, including: One Teach, One Observe; One Teach, One Assist; and Station Teaching.
6.2 Signed MOU & Placement Profiles
Robust evidence for the School of Education's Clinical Practice program is located with materials for Common Standard 3 - Clinical Practice, including:
6.3 Supervisor/Cooperating Teacher Expectations and Training Materials
Cooperating Teachers (or District Employed Supervisors) mentor candidates at school sites. Field Supervisors are unpaid and are not employees of Cal Poly.
University Supervisors (or Program Supervisors) are employed Cal Poly part-time lecturers who observe, evaluate, and coach teacher candidates and facilitate the relationship between candidates and Field Supervisors. University Supervisors are systematically hired, retained and evaluated as part of Cal Poly personnel procedures.
6.4 Documentation of Candidate Placements
6.5 Clinical Practice Handbook/Manual
6.6 Fieldwork/Clinical Practice Syllabi
6.7 Clinical Practice Assessment Instruments