Lipscomb’s College of Education is continually working to improve teacher training programs. Just as the medical profession understands the crucial part that clinical experience plays in the training of doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals, the education community understands the need to increase clinical practice for pre-service teachers.
Lipscomb’s program already offers field experience as a part of each education course; but this fall a re-designed undergraduate program will be unveiled which will better integrate course work and clinical work in schools.
Beginning this coming fall semester, theory and practice will be more tightly linked as candidates are immersed in the learning community for half a day each semester for Clinical Practice I and Clinical Practice II. Clinical Practice I will be an afternoon placement two days each week with course work scheduled within that time frame. Clinical Practice II will include morning placement three days each week with scheduled course work included. Clinical Practice III will allow these pre-service teachers to take control of a classroom for several weeks under the guidance of a mentor teacher and a university supervisor, much like the current student teaching. Efforts are being made to partner with specific schools for these clinical placements.
There are several outcomes intended in this plan. Teacher candidates will interact with school communities with good models of teaching in diverse schools and experience circumstances which demand real-life application of knowledge, skills and dispositions learned during course work. This extended time in a classroom will also begin early to allow students to determine if they possess the professionalism, teaching quality and relationship-building skills necessary for today’s teacher.
Currently, the college delivers undergraduate programs in 17 licensure areas; namely, Early Childhood (PreK-3), Elementary (K-6), Middle Grades (4-8), secondary (7-12) programs in biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, English, and K-12 programs in art, instrumental and vocal music, theater, health & physical education, French, German and Spanish. It also offers graduate level programs for initial licensure candidates.