Education 3301 and Education 3302: Teaching and Learning and Curriculum - Field Placement Guidelines and Information

Education 3301 and Education 3302: Teaching and Learning, and Curriculum - Field Placement Guidelines and Information

Teaching and Learning and Curriculum are taken in the fall semester of a Bowdoin student’s junior or senior year. The two courses are taught concurrently by the same professor so it is treated as one mega-course. Education 3301 and 3302 are prerequisite courses for the Bowdoin Teacher Scholars program.

Teaching and Learning is a study of what takes place in classrooms: the methods and purposes of teachers, the response of students, and the organizational context. Curriculum is a study of the knowledge taught in schools: its selection and the rationale by which one course of study rather than another is included; its adaptation for different disciplines and for different categories of students; its cognitive and social purposes; the organization and integration of its various components.

The Field Placement:

The field placement component of the course requires a minimum of 36 hours in a secondary school classroom during the semester. We are currently piloting a professional development school partnership with King Middle School in Portland. This partnership will allow our students to become actively engaged in the classroom, school and broader community level in a rich and dynamic relationship. 

The Role of the Student in the Field Placement:

Students are expected to be active participants in their placement classroom. They assume the role of field researcher, taking notes about the classroom, school culture, teaching and learning behaviors, etc, as well of that of contributor to the overall success of the classroom environment. Merely sitting in the back taking notes is not acceptable. It is our expectation that students will participate with student-related activities as directed by the mentor teacher for the entire time that they are in the classroom. In addition, they will be responsible for teaching three lessons in one class prior to the Thanksgiving break. One week prior to the lessons, students will submit a lesson plan to the professor and the mentor teacher in order to receive feedback and additional guidance prior to teaching the lesson.

It is expected that our students will keep in close communication with the mentor teacher, letting them know in advance when they plan to visit the classroom and for how long. If they are sick or need to cancel at the last minute, it is expected that they will call the school and email the mentor teacher right away.

The Role of the Mentor Teacher in the Field Placement:

As a 3301/3302 mentor teacher, we hope that communication between you and your student will be frequent, dynamic, and help both of you explore various aspects of teaching style and pedagogical approach. We ask that you spend at least 20 minutes each week meeting with your Bowdoin student to discuss why you may have taught a lesson the way you did, or how you decided how to manage a classroom situation, or the ways in which you assessed students on a recent topic, etc. We ask that you welcome the student into the classroom as an engaged participant, and incorporate them into your classroom routine as fully as possible. Please provide them with a syllabus, copies of texts, roll lists/seating charts, rubrics, school/classroom policies, etc. as soon as they begin their field placement. An orientation to the school and introductions to colleagues is also very helpful. Students may work with small groups, individuals, or help you present an aspect of a lesson you are teaching. You may include them in the additional responsibilities of teaching to the degree to which you feel comfortable – i.e. IEP meetings, department meetings, etc. While these students are “teachers-in-training,” we ask that you do not leave them alone to be responsible for a classroom at any time, or to substitute teach for you.

Students in 3301/3302 are responsible for teaching three lessons in one of your classes. Very early in the placement experience, you will want to discuss with your student the material you expect to be covering in mid-October so they may begin their planning. Students are also expected to develop a four-week unit of instruction for the course.

You will be asked to complete two formal evaluations of the Bowdoin student – one at mid-semester and another at the end of the semester. Additionally, we ask that you provide direct feedback to your student, either written or verbal, immediately following each lesson they teach.

Mentor teachers for Education 3301/3302 field placement will receive a $150.00 honorarium and a certificate of service for their work with our students. Any questions about the field placement can be directed to Laura Sweet, Program Placement and Outreach Coordinator, at