In the School of Education, field experiences are a paramount part of the Teacher Education Program. To prepare effective educators, we offer our teacher candidates a variety of field experiences in public and private elementary, middle and high schools throughout the island of Oahu. All field placements of our teacher candidates are made in which there is a formal agreement between Hawai‘i Pacific University, the school district and the schools.
All students in both the undergraduate and graduate programs will experience four semesters of field experiences. In each of the first three semesters, teacher candidates will invest six hours per week every semester at a designated school. Placement at a school is determined by various factors: employment of the teacher candidate at the school, proximity of the teacher candidate’s residency to the school, convenience to the teacher candidate’s outside employment, etc. Every effort is made to make the field experiences meaningful, relevant and challenging to our students.
Field experiences are where teacher candidates acquire and refine their knowledge, abilities and skills about what they teach, who they teach and how to help students learn and grow; apply theories and best practice strategies; develop a sense of professional identification with the respective school; learn collaboration and teamwork with school colleagues and parents; evaluate their practice in teaching and ways to grow in an objective manner – individually and collectively – in reflective sessions with their mentor teacher and university professor; and become empowered to assume the roles and responsibilities of a classroom teacher. The fourth semester is the internship, which is the capstone experience in our Teacher Education model. Student teaching is a full-time, rewarding experience in which teacher interns’ experience working with a diverse group of students and teaching solo half-a-day in the classroom the entire semester.
A Blue Ribbon feature of field experiences is our cadre of mentor teachers who are recommended by their school administrators as highly effective educators who can offer their experience and expertise to our teacher candidates. Mentor teachers put in the time and effort to help our teacher candidates and teacher interns to improve their effectiveness in the classroom through their classroom observations, day-to-day interactions, and reflective sessions.
I look forward to meeting you and telling you more about the richness of our field experiences, and the success stories of many of our teachers employed at schools throughout the world.
Dr. Linda Andrade Wheeler
Field Director of Education