OBSERVATION IN PRE-CLINICAL EXPERIENCES
Teaching is complex and dynamic. There are numerous elements to effective teaching/learning environments. A primary activity during pre-clinical experiences is the observation of practicing teachers. During observation, students will focus on specific elements of the teaching/learning experience, and they will be involved in the following types of observation.
In their first pre-clinical experience, students should focus on the teaching/learning environment to describe what is going on in the school or the classroom, why it is happening, how it was planned, and the outcomes. At this level of observation, the emphasis is on describing what is happening.
With additional experience, students broaden their viewpoint to consider the relationship among individual elements of teaching and learning. The emphasis at this level of observation is on characteristics of effective instruction.
With continuing experience, students will focus on their own teaching style. Their emphasis will be on considering such questions as "How would I conduct this lesson? What will happen if a certain technique is used with these children? Will it work? Under what conditions will it work? Must conditions be changed for it to work?"