College of Education

Drs. Koubek and Sawyer Publish Article on Immersive Field Experiences


SUMMARY: Exploring the concept of early field experiences and the creation of third spaces in teacher preparation programs by studying the influences of a student-led organization that provided these early experiences to preservice teachers of the College of Education.

Dr. Katya Koubek (Educational Foundations and Exceptionalities) and Dr. Amanda Sawyer (Middle, Secondary, and Math Education), along with two now graduated students, Ashley Carron ’18 and ’19 (M.A.T.) and Meredith Moncure ’19 (M.A.T) have published a study looking at the benefits of early field experience before student teaching. 

Since 2015, Drs. Koubek and Sawyer have been co-advisors to the Raising an Organization of Trained Educators (R.O.T.E) organization, a group for aspiring teachers that offers JMU Education students the opportunity to serve as teacher assistants in Harrisonburg City School classrooms as well as helping out with extracurricular activities put on by the school system. These students make a two year commitment to spend 1-2 hours a week in one of the local elementary or middle schools.  In return they receive class credit, professional development skills, and invaluable experience in the inner workings of a school system; beyond what can typically be taught in an education class.

In their research, they found that these early immersive experiences provided the students with a deeper understanding of the school context, and increased sense of professionalism, and growing autonomy as educators.

Access the article here.

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Published: Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Last Updated: Tuesday, October 20, 2020

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