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Title:Early Field Experience in Elementary Teacher Preparation: A Study of Student Learnings in One Particular Program
Author(s):Myers, Eldon Woodrow, Jr.
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Elementary
Education, Teacher Training
Abstract:The primary purpose of this investigation was to determine the efficacy of a freshman early field experience in elementary teacher education. Fourteen undergraduate students in the University of Illinois' Sigma program during the spring semester of 1985 were the subjects of this investigation. The emphasis of the experimental program was to be on helping students to evolve structural knowledge of the subjects they were to teach and an understanding of ways that children acquire understanding in these areas. The Sigma program differed from the standard elementary and early childhood program in that students met with senior professors for on-going weekly seminars throughout the 1984-85 school year. Each student was assigned a highly effective public elementary school classroom, located in the Urbana-Champaign area, for a nine-week practicum.
In order to determine the worthiness of this early field experience, two sources were used to gather data. The first source, attitudinal changes, was determined by administering the Minnesota Teacher Attitude Inventory (MTAI) prior to the experience and again during the last week of the experience. The second data source were contents of weekly professional journals written by students throughout the duration of the early field experience. Statistical tests performed on the data obtained resulted in not rejecting all six null hypotheses. As a result of their early field experience subjects did not obtain a more positive attitude toward children. With regard to professional journal writing, subjects did not significantly increase in either the Reporting and Description or Evaluation and Reflection categories of the designed Contents Analysis Matrix. This investigation also determined there was no relationship between MTAI scores and journal contents analysis.
In sum, it may have been too early for the subjects to assume the role of teacher. As the findings of this study indicate, the early field experience as a freshman did not seem to increase insights.
Issue Date:1987
Description:76 p.
Thesis (Educat.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1987.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8721722
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1987

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