Program Design as a Learning to Teach Process for
Dr. Jessica Rivera-Mueller
Dr. Amy Piotrowski
Utah State University
Our Teaching Contexts
Land grant university that consists of campuses located all
around the state: “One university geographically dispersed.”
● Jessica - university’s main campus in Logan, UT
● Amy - based at regional campus, students are all around
state, courses taught online and over interactive video
conference technology, many students non-traditional
A Context for Learning to Teach preservice teachers
In this presentation, we examine our process of teaching a
methods course titled “Teaching Literacy and Diverse
Classrooms” and a clinical field experience course.
These two courses are in the process of becoming paired so
that students can take them concurrently.
The clinical course was first taught during the Fall 2016
semester, our first semester in the department.
Lauren Gatti’s Framework
Teacher education to what end?
● Programmatic Resources
● Disciplinary Resources
● Relational Resources
● Experiential Resources
● Dispositional Resources
Source: Toward a Framework of Resources for Learning to
Reflecting on Our Experiences
In our learning-to-teach process, we brought our resources to
the methods and clinical courses and accepted Gatti’s call to
“think of our programs as recursive spaces where we learn
about what our novice teachers bring with them, and orient
programmatic experiences so that we can contribute
substantively to our students’ relational, experiential,
disciplinary, and dispositional resources” (149).
What Programmatic Resources & Experiences do
● Field placements with good cooperating teachers
● Support from university faculty
● Opportunities to apply methods learned in courses during
clinical field experiences
● Guidance on reflecting on one’s teaching
● Self-Defined Goals: We shifted our emphasis from
completing teaching tasks to inquiring into teaching and
learning (i.e. Letter of Introduction assignment).
How do we work with Learners’ Knowledge?
● Have our students think through their experiences, both
going into the teaching profession and during the
● Inquiry Journals & Whole Class Responses
○ What is the idea, question, or issue? Please describe the matter.
○ Why is this idea, question, or issue important for you and other
teachers to notice and explore? What’s at stake for different
stakeholders if we do or do not attend to this matter?
○ What educational theories or principles are shaping your
understanding of this idea, question, or issue?
How can we foster Learners’ Professional Judgement?
● Having our students (preservice teachers) get to know
● Ending semester with reflection
● Holistic Feedback during End of Semester Conference
○ Themes in Students’ Work
○ Areas of Strength
○ Areas for Further Development
Learning from Our Work
● Ensuring clinical field experience meshes with methods
courses so students apply what they’re learning
● Importance of teacher educators building relationships
with cooperating teachers
● Letting go of my teacher categories to make the clinical
● Maintaining a critical awareness of institutional
● Dr. Jessica Rivera-Mueller
● Dr. Amy Piotrowski
○ Twitter: @piotrowskiamy