What Makes the UCSB Multiple Subject Teacher Education Program Unique?
The UCSB Multiple Subject Teacher Education Program is a teacher preparation program that is unique in several ways.
1. Teacher candidates in the program begin and end the program at the same time and form strong cohorts (program wide and at school sites) where members support, share, and inform each other throughout the year, and often beyond the program year itself.
2. Teacher candidates acquire teaching knowledge, skills, and dispositions in a carefully sequenced developmental manner beginning with basic theoretical foundations, observations, and progress from part-time field experience in the fall to full-time student teaching in the spring. Both the part-time and full-time experiences culminate in a teaching take-over of the classroom. Candidates also complete a performance assessment of basic teaching skills, and develop an M.Ed. project concentrating on selected aspects of the teaching process.
3. The university coursework actively engages candidates in the process of learning to teach. Assignments provide candidates with opportunities to examine and apply the theory they learn to their actual work with children in classrooms.
4. Instructors in the program communicate frequently with each other, make concerted efforts to address the developmental levels of the teacher candidates, and streamline instruction so that specific skills and understandings taught in other classes are purposefully reinforced.
5. Instructors get to know the teacher candidates well and in some cases may function as confidantes for candidates.
6. Teacher candidates are placed in schools that are part of a partnership where cooperating teachers and administrators support and encourage the gradual development of their skills.
7. Candidates work at a single site across the school year. At that site they are considered members of the professional community and begin working before the children arrive in late August and teach through the last day of school in June. Each candidate has two student teaching placements, one in a primary setting and one in a middle/upper elementary setting.
8. Collegiality and peer learning are vital components of the program. Teacher candidates meet weekly throughout the year with their site-based cohort and university instructor to share their personal story of learning to teach.
9. University supervisors provide candidates with individual feedback and support through weekly check-ins and bi-weekly observations and post-observation conversations. They also facilitate regular formative assessment and goal setting conversations between candidates and cooperating teachers.
10. Graduates of the UCSB Teacher Education Program consistently report back after one or two years of teaching that they feel exceptionally well-prepared for the job and, in many instances, perhaps more knowledgeable and skilled than teachers who obtained their credential elsewhere.