“I Didn’t Realize HOW Important It Is”: Pre-Service Secondary Teachers Reflecting on an Intensive Clinical Experience

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External/Clinical Experience; Student Reflections/Perspectives

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The present study examined the impact of an intensive clinical experience in a unique educational environment. The seven participants spent 2 days in a teacher-led, diverse charter school whose mission is to provide a safe environment for all students regardless of race, religion, or sexual identity. The participants were assigned to a class where they taught a lesson that they had designed. The participants reflected on their experiences through online discussions, personal reflections, and informal dialogues with one another as well as the faculty researcher. The results indicated that the experience impacted the participants in terms of working with diverse student populations, having a deeper perspective on the effects of bullying, negotiating power and control in the classroom and working with middle school students. The study revealed a need for preservice teachers to participate in scaffolded field experiences that challenge them to go beyond what they know about schools and working with diverse student populations.


This article was published in Teacher Education and Practice. Vol. 38, Issue 4. (2015).