‘We Matter Just the Same’: Students and Pre-Service Teachers Working Together in an Alternative Educational Setting

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External/Clinical Experience

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This paper examines how a clinical experience in an alternative educational setting impacted both pre-service secondary teachers and the students with whom they worked. The participants were pre-service secondary teachers completing a clinical experience at a local agency that served a population of students for whom traditional school settings were not effective, as well as students at the agency. The results indicate that for the pre-service teachers, the experience allowed them to develop a deeper understanding of learner diversity and the importance of connecting to students. For the agency students, the interactions with the pre-service teachers provided them with additional academic support, as well as resources for post-secondary education. The agency students also recognized that they had the power to show pre-service teachers how to work effectively with students for whom traditional school settings are a challenge. The authors conclude with implications for pre-service teachers, agency students, and university and clinical site instructors, as well as practical considerations for developing such partnerships.


This article was published in Teaching Education. Vol. 27 Issue 1. (2015). DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/10476210.2015.1034685