Characteristics of Special Education Field Placements: An Exploratory Study

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The Journal of Special Education Apprenticeship


Research and policy in the field of teacher education recommend that special education (SPED) programs include opportunities for candidates to practice in supervised field experiences. Such field experiences (a) engage candidates in professional practice, (b) reduce their anxiety, (c) gain confidence, and (d) allow them to view themselves as educators. However, there is a lack of research on the characteristics of field placements in SPED. As a result of the dearth in the literature, the researchers discussed the results of an exploratory single survey study of 42 faculty members from institutes of higher education (IHE) from across the United States (US). Results found variability of data from institutions in 18 different states. The characteristics of field placements and the responsibilities of the teacher candidate (TC), university supervisor (US), and clinical supervisor (CS) are described. Lastly, the mean number of hours in each placement was calculated and described for Bachelor of Science in Education (BSED) programs, along with implications and future research.


Georgia Southern University faculty member, Karin M. Fisher co-authored Characteristics of Special Education Field Placements: An Exploratory Study.