Overview: Field Experiences
Thank you for welcoming our Early Childhood and Family Studies (ECFS) students into your program. You are an important partner in our students’ academic experience by providing them with “early and ongoing practice opportunities to apply content and pedagogical knowledge in real-life settings to progressively develop and demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to promote the development and learning of young children” (National Association for the Education of Young Children). This connection between theory and practice, made through direct contact with young children, is an important foundation for students pursuing careers in teaching and beyond, in fields such as early childhood policy, family engagement, and administration.
There are two types of field experiences in the ECFS program:
- Service-learning is regular work or volunteer work in the field. Students spend 3-5 hours each week at their service-learning site, interacting with young children in classroom settings.
- Applied assignments are assignments completed in a real-life setting. These assignments are required in many courses and may require a variety of participants (e.g. observing an infant or interviewing a parent or early childhood professional). Examples of applied assignments may include capturing video of student practice, field observations, case studies, and interviews. Most often, these assignments may be completed at the service-learning site, and our students will provide you with more detailed information about the requirements of specific assignments. In order to complete video assignments, students will be required to obtain permission from the parents/guardians of participating children.
The Intentional Teaching Framework provides our students with the opportunity to learn not just by gaining knowledge, but by observing, doing, and reflecting on their actions and impact on the development of young children and their families. Student’s time spent with you enriches their learning experience, providing them with the opportunity to observe early childhood professionals in action and practice interactions with children with your expert guidance and support.
Intentional Teaching Framework
Know = Gain knowledge of child development and specific practices
See = Objectively describe what is happening in your own and others’ video clips, using specific behavioral language
Do = Set goals, plan, implement strategies
Reflect and Improve = Observe your practice, assess, analyze, and implement quantifiable positive change
For more information about our service learning and applied assignments requirements, please contact Sarah Hamilton, service learning coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Lynn Dietrich, program director (email@example.com).
These forms are provided for your reference. Our students will provide you with specific forms that need to be completed.
- Service-Learning Participation Agreement: Our students will ask you to complete this form.
- Parent Permission Media Release: Our students must obtain parent permission to video children, using either this form or your site’s existing media release.
- ECFS Online Program Agreement: Our students complete this form, which includes appropriate behaviors in service-learning sites, such as maintaining child confidentiality and the proper uses of video and images. [link to form]