The Education Studies department embodies the Skidmore College value of theory in
practice. Students in EDS courses often have the opportunity to observe educational
practices in action and practice pedagogical theory in classrooms.
Many students experience their first field placement in the department’s lab school: The Early Childhood Center (ECC). In ED200 Child Development and Learning, students have the opportunity to complete a 1-credit service learning component in the ECC. In ED231 Children’s Literature, many students complete a read-aloud assignment with the children in the ECC. In the first course in the methods sequence, ED233 Emergent Literacy, EDS majors complete a 2-hour per week lab component in the ECC. At this point in the program, EDS majors begin to model their teaching after the experienced ECC teachers and to develop a reflective stance in their emerging teaching practice.
All EDS majors complete field placements in local elementary schools in the Saratoga Springs City School District and surrounding districts. For example, in ED213 The Exceptional Child in the Elementary School, students complete observational hours in local classrooms to develop an understanding of the educational experience of students with special needs. In connection to their methods coursework (ED334 Integrated Curriculum and Instruction, ED335 Teaching Reading in the Elementary School, and ED336 Teaching Elementary Mathematics), EDS majors complete 2-day per week field placements in local classrooms. This opportunity allows students to observe and practice what they learn in their college classes the very next day in their elementary school placement classrooms.
EDS majors’ culminating experience is student teaching. Student teaching is a full-time semester spent in elementary classrooms (lower and upper elementary placements). Students work collaboratively with a cooperating teacher 5-days a week to take on increasing instructional responsibility. Each placement concludes with a “solo week” where the student teacher takes on all planning and instruction for the elementary students. Majors are supported by a college supervisor who visits, observes, and consults with student teachers throughout their placement experience. In addition, students participate in a weekly seminar meeting on campus where EDS faculty work with the cohort to apply theory to practice and continue to develop a reflective stance toward teaching.