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Student teachers to benefit from new web resource

August 31, 2021 Kim Clement, ATA News Staff


A new web resource is now available to help support members involved in field experience. Taking Flight — Navigating Field Experience launched in August after several months of collaboration among ATA staff officers and several graphic and website designers. 

The web resource was designed with several goals particular to the role of the field experience participant. Student teachers will find a wealth of essential tools and advice to help navigate the complexities of their field experience, while co-operating teachers will find in-depth advice on such things as observation and evaluation strategies. School leaders and faculty advisors will be provided with information to help perform their duties effectively and with confidence.

“The original idea was to have a print copy, but as the project grew, a document wouldn’t provide the tool with enough versatility,” said Professional Development staff officer Monique Gravel, who led the rollout of the project.

“Given the ever-changing education landscape, it was determined that building a website would allow us the possibility to keep up with both pedagogical and professional changes and provide members with continued current supports and resources.” 

The impetus for the project was discussions held by the Joint Committee on Practicum (JCOP) in June 2018, which led to an initial framework and development of guidelines and procedures to gather data for the resource.

The primary researcher and writer of Taking Flight was Françoise Ruban, former ATA PD staff officer, who collaborated with Gravel. The resource draws on Ruban’s and Gravel’s extensive backgrounds in teacher education and mentorship. Several ATA staff deserve credit for the project’s successful completion, Gravel said, including supervising editor Sandra Bit, design lead Erin Solano and website designers Kim vanderHelm and Yuet Chan.

“What excites me most about the website is its true potential,” Gravel said, adding that the project tried to capture the comments and suggestions of various subgroups and field members as well as ATA policies and beliefs.

“But we have the true potential to develop this tool further in order to support the four key roles — co-operating teachers, student teachers, school leaders and faculty advisors — all the while advancing the profession.” ❚


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