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Laboratory experiences, whether simulated or in an actual teaching/learning setting, are recognized as an extremely important element in teacher preparation programs worldwide. The Auburn University College of Education has always included interactive experiences in its teacher education curriculum, and is constantly expanding and refining its laboratory experience activities. It is recognized that students need a variety of experiences. Emphasis has been placed on providing students with placements that offer a wide range of socioeconomic and multicultural settings.
The major purpose of the laboratory experience is to provide for students a context in which they can examine the theoretical bases presented in university classes. Through this process, students have opportunities to make needed adjustments in their own thought and behavior patterns. The relationships between theory and practice are clarified as prospective teachers test their teaching styles in reality-based settings. Finally, laboratory experiences help the prospective teacher make a personal assessment of his/her commitment to teaching.
The laboratory experiences program is based on the premise that meaningful laboratory experiences provided concurrently with the content of professional education and subject matter courses are essential to the process of teacher preparation.
Other assumptions underlying the program are:
Laboratory experiences are an integral part of teacher preparation programs and play an increasingly important role in professional curricula leading to certification.
Teacher preparation rightfully is viewed as a joint responsibility shared by local school districts, institutions of higher learning and the State Department of Education.
Laboratory experiences enable students to evaluate and verify their interests in teaching.
Laboratory experiences gained concurrently with course content are vital to the individualization of teacher preparation programs.
Laboratory experiences alert prospective teachers to the broad range of social, economic, cultural and environmental factors which affect learning.
Laboratory experiences assist prospective teachers in understanding and evaluating the role of the school staff and auxiliary personnel as well as the purpose of the school.
Personal involvement in laboratory experiences makes teacher preparation relevant for prospective teachers.
Laboratory experiences at Auburn University are provided through the following:
professional internship (student teaching).
Laboratory experience, designed to accomplish specific purposes through courses in the professional sequence, are arranged with schools and community agencies as the need arises. These arrangements are made with appropriate personnel by university instructors through the Professional Education Services Office, 3464 Haley Center. Experience may involve individual students, small groups and/or entire classes.
Last Updated: Feb 11, 2011