Beyond Mizzou Classrooms
MU science education students don’t have to wait until they’re in the workforce to learn quality teaching. These evidencebased methods are incorporated into the undergraduate Teacher Development Program, and students clock plenty of practice hours in the field before graduation. Every sophomore, junior and senior in the College of Education completes fieldwork throughout the year. Second- and thirdyear students spend between 16 and 24 hours in the classroom, depending on their level.
However, the most intensive experience comes through the Senior Year On-Site Program. For their first semester, students are placed in a local elementary or middle school and rotated through every grade level. The second semester is the student-teaching experience familiar to education alum.
All this hands-on practice gives future teachers a chance to work through problems that pop up and to seek help when they’re unsure how to handle a situation. They often say the fieldwork makes the theoretical real.
“There’s no way to substitute for this time when you’re out in the field, but you’re still under the guidance of experienced teachers and seminar leaders,” says field experience coordinator Idy Mazza. “It’s a secure environment. It’s incredible.”
Science education students also have the chance to volunteer in several educational activities hosted by the college each year, such as Science Olympiad, a statewide competition for middle- and high-schoolers.
Another experience comes through the Magic of Chemistry program, put on by a partnership between the MU Department of Chemistry and the Heart of Missouri Council Girl Scouts.
Both events challenge participants to answer scientific questions through investigation, experimentation and critical thought. Similar to QUEST, the goal is to combat the notion that participants are simply averse to science. It all adds up to an educational experience for everyone involved.