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Educational Foundations and Curriculum

Pre-Admission Observation - Information

Prospective teacher candidates must complete 40 hours of volunteer observation prior to enrolling in EFC 210.  Candidates should arrange to complete this observation outside of Ellensburg.  It is important for candidates to formally contact the school(s) in which they wish to volunteer, and comply with all of the requirements of the school(s).

Observation Criteria

The 40 hours of volunteer observation may be completed at any grade level from Kindergarten through high school, and in any subject area, regardless of the candidate’s intended major.  These hours can be completed in any combination of grade levels and subject areas.  For example, a candidate could complete 16 hours in a 3rd grade classroom, 20 hours in a high school English class, and 4 hours in a middle school P.E. class.

Candidates may elect to observe for up to 20 of the 40 total hours in an appropriate alternative setting.  Such a setting must meet all of the following criteria.

  1. The candidate must have direct observation of at least 8 children simultaneously.
  2. The setting must be part of an organized program.
  3. The candidate must be supervised by someone who is part of the organization.
  4. The observation must have taken place within 2 years of enrollment in EFC 210.

Examples of appropriate alternative settings could be: music camps, athletic camps, community art programs, Head Start, etc., if the criteria above are met.  Settings which would not be appropriate would include:  babysitting, private tutoring, home schools, church choirs, and day care facilities.

Observation Guidelines

Students should take notes in response to the following items.  Guide questions are given to help prompt your response.  Your notes do not need to be extensive, but should capture the key points of the issues or events.

  1. Describe the demographics of the setting.  What is the percentage of males/females, ages, ethnic groups, socio-economic levels, languages, special needs students, gifted students, etc.
  2. Give two behavioral problems you observed.  What did the teacher do to improve the situation?  What effect did this have on the behavior?

  3. Describe one classroom setting you observed.  How did the teacher set up the physical surroundings in the classroom?  What effect did the setting have in helping students to engage successfully in learning?

  4. View at least one transition in the school; e.g., children moving to or from the lunch room, boarding the buses at the end of the day, moving to an assembly, etc.  What precautionary measures did the school staff take in order to protect the safety of students?  Describe any problems that occurred.

  5. Describe one classroom teacher and the method he/she used to teach.  How did the teacher interact with the students?  How did the students interact with each other?  Did students work individually, in groups, as a full class?

  6. Describe how the teacher assessed student learning.  Did the teacher give tests, assign essays or other written work, require presentations or performances, make informal observations, have students keep a portfolio, etc.?

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