Four Stages of Teacher Preparation

The goal of the Education Department is to assist students as they move through stages that we believe are developmentally appropriate in the process of becoming effective teachers. There are four distinct phases that correlate to specific course work in the department.

Stage 1, Critical Observation

Learning to observe and to listen carefully are important skills, both in Cornell classes and in observations in the public schools, which are developed and refined in the following courses:

Stage 2, Practical Application

In this stage, teacher preparation candidates have multiple opportunities to plan, deliver and evaluate their own lessons, as well as to assess the learning of their students. Cornell students are assessed by their mentor teachers as well as their Cornell professors. Courses in Stage 2 are:

Stage 3, Full-time Student Teaching

The student teaching experience gives teacher candidates many opportunities to apply knowledge from previous coursework and field experience in full-time classroom assignments. The student teacher plans age and developmentally appropriate lessons in each discipline in cooperation with the mentor teacher. Each teacher candidate must complete sixteen consecutive weeks of full time student teaching.

Out of Area Student Teaching Policy/Procedures

Cornell students must request an Out of Area student teaching assignment during January of their junior year; if the request is for the Chicago Center, the request must meet the deadline established in the Catalogue (February 1st of the junior year). If the request is for a city outside the Cornell/Cedar Rapids/Iowa City area but not through the Chicago Center, the following guidelines will be followed.

  1. The request must be made before February 1st of the student's junior year.
  2. The student must make this request in writing and state the pedagogical as well as practical reasons for the request.
  3. The student is required to suggest a school and mentor teacher. Normally, the request will be denied unless a member of the education faculty is personally aware of the teaching conditions present in the suggested school. The Cornell education faculty must know the supervisors involved or become convinced that the school personnel in question are qualified and willing to abide by Cornell's policies. There must be both a mentor and supervising teacher to work with the Cornell student teacher.
  4. By college policy, there is no reduction in tuition or room costs for those who student teach in this manner. It is possible to petition the Dean of Students for relief in this area.
  5. All other catalogue and Education Department regulations apply. The education faculty, speaking through the Department Chair, approves or disapproves all requests for out-of-the-area student teaching assignments. Requests are not encouraged and only extraordinary circumstances will be considered.
  6. When out of area student teaching is approved (other than the Chicago Center), there will be an additional cost to the student. Normally, the exact increased cost to the college will be determined and added to the student's college bill. This could be approximately $1000.00.

The Cornell-Cedar Rapids-Iowa City Area and the Chicago Center provide a wide variety of school experiences for student teachers. Teaching in these areas places the student teacher under the direct supervision of Cornell and Chicago Center faculty. The Education Department believes these conditions best serve Cornell students and only under exceptional circumstances will alternatives be approved.

Stage 4, Reflection and Professional Development Planning

Reflection and professional development run throughout the program and culminate in EDU 483 Senior Seminar. In this course candidates have time to reflect on their own experiences and knowledge of the public school. Critical examination of current educational controversies, reform ideas, ethical considerations, legal questions, and teaching and administrative problems facing the modern American public schools form the foundation for discussion. A professional portfolio and a five year professional development plan are required.