In Alberta, field experiences are a required component of the teacher preparation programs leading to initial teacher certification. Field experiences also provide opportunities for preservice teachers to integrate theoretical knowledge with teaching practice, gain insight while assuming emerging responsibility for teaching, better assess their aptitude for teaching and finally take flight towards becoming effective certificated teachers.
When fears are grounded, dreams take flight.
Field experience refers to a combined minimum of one semester or equivalent period of not less than 13 weeks of full-time, classroom-based experience as part of the requirement for initial teacher certification. It has the status of a regular credit course toward the bachelor of education degree.
Teacher education programs in Alberta universities and the Alberta Teachers’ Association jointly acknowledge that field experiences are key processes in teacher education, which require for their success a close collaborative relationship between the teaching profession and preservice teacher education programs. Field experiences create conditions that recognize and promote teaching as a reflective and collegial practice. Teacher education programs in Alberta universities and the Alberta Teachers’ Association are committed to field experiences that develop the student teacher’s reflective capacities for observation, analysis, interpretation and decision making as well as the competencies required for effective teaching and learning.
The Association believes that field experiences provide opportunities for
Teacher education programs in Alberta universities and the teaching profession share in the commitment to foster these opportunities. The field experience program will continue to be a matter of ongoing examination, refinement, enrichment and improvement involving preservice teacher education programs, the Association, the Department of Education and other relevant government departments as well as partner groups.
Kutsyuruba, B and K D Walker. 2017. The Bliss and Blisters of Early Career Teaching: A Pan-Canadian Perspective. Burlington, Ont: Word and Deed Publishing, 366–370.