What Makes the UCSB Single Subject Teacher Education Program Unique?
1. Teacher candidates in the program begin and end the program at the same time and form strong cohorts (program wide, at school sites, and in subject matter content) where members support, share, and inform each other throughout the year, and often beyond the program year itself.
2. Teacher candidates acquire teaching knowledge, skills, and dispositions in a carefully sequenced developmental manner beginning with basic theoretical foundations, observations, and brief teaching sessions to final complete teaching take-overs of classrooms, a performance assessment of basic teaching skills, and culminating in an M.Ed. project concentrating on selected aspects of the teaching process.
3. Instructors in the program communicate frequently with each other, make concerted efforts to address the developmental levels of the teacher candidates, and streamline instruction so that specific skills and understandings taught in other classes are reinforced while at the same time redundancy is eliminated.
4. Instructors get to know the teacher candidates well and in some cases may function as confidantes for candidates.
5. Teacher candidates teach in at least two different schools, and in many cases in three different schools. In the fall all candidates will teach both a junior and a senior high school and in the winter and spring they teach one or two full classes in either a school they taught before or in a new school.
6. Teacher candidates are supervised by two different types of supervisors: a site supervisor who supervises only candidates at a specific site, and a content supervisor, who observes candidates in one content across sites. As a result, supervision is consistent in quantity and due to frequent communication among supervisor it is consistent in quality. Moreover, teacher candidates obtain more than just one perspective of their teaching skills.
7. Teacher candidates meet weekly throughout the entire year with their content cohort and university instructor to share their personal story of learning to teach in content.
8. Teacher candidates are placed in schools that are part of a partnership where cooperating teachers and administrators support and encourage the gradual development of skills in teacher candidates. Twice a month in the fall, and after that, once a month, a faculty member of the site school leads a small group seminar with the teacher candidate cohort.
9. Teacher candidates are part of school site cohorts consisting of a mix of content areas and observe, meet and support each other throughout their stay at that school site.
10. Graduates of the UCSB Teacher Education Program consistently report back after one or two years of teaching that they felt exceptionally well-prepared for the job and, in many instances, perhaps more knowledgeable and skilled than teachers who obtained their credential elsewhere.