Field Experience Mission/Objectives

Mission Statement: Provide opportunities for students to develop the talents and abilities necessary to become effective and reflective teachers in lives of professional service and leadership as a spirited expression of their faith and learning. A primary purpose of teaching is to be of service to the students and families in the schools and community.

Introduction to Field Placements: Field experiences are placements in educational settings such as schools, public libraries, and registered day care centers, which allow education students to directly observe and participate in the setting. Wartburg students participate in field experiences by either taking specific field experience courses or by taking education classes having field experiences embedded within them. There are two types of field placements: field experiences and student teaching.

Field experiences provide short-term placements (3 hours up to 100 hours) in which education students observe teaching and learning in educational settings, and/or provide teaching under the direct supervision of a licensed teacher. Student teaching courses are long term experiences (14 weeks total and often divided into two 7 week experiences) in which students teach full time under the supervision of an experienced teacher and are expected to become increasingly independent in their curriculum development, lesson planning, classroom management, and teaching.

Functions of the Office of Student Field Experiences (OSFE): The OSFE serves all of the teacher education programs within the teacher education program. This office works within the Education Department and with students in the early childhood, elementary, and secondary programs to arrange placements in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade settings. The office serves the following functions: 
• Fosters and maintains effective partnerships with schools, day care centers, and libraries 
• Coordinates and facilitates necessary contracts between K-12 schools and Wartburg College to permit students to have field placements
• Develops programs and organizes assistance for the educational partner settings

Objectives of Field Experiences: There are four key objectives that have been identified to serve as guidance in helping students become effective and reflective teachers. They are: 
• Gain greater insight into the professional responsibilities of a classroom teacher (instructional strategies, classroom management, documentation, assessment/evaluation)
• Gain professional understanding and practical teaching experience through observation, planning and practice under the guidance of an experienced teacher 
• Provide opportunities to integrate classroom concepts and pedagogy into practice in an engaging and active way, which is differentiated to meet the individual needs of children
• Gain experience working with colleagues in the school setting and develop deeper insight into the climate and culture of schools