Cultural Learning Opportunities
Special projects in which student teaching experience may be gained are described below. These projects include the American Indian Reservation Project, the Overseas Project, and the Urban Project. The Reservation and Overseas Projects are open to students at Bloomington and IUPUI, as well as to students from other institutions. The Urban Project is only open to students on the Bloomington campus. The employment success of students in these projects has been very high year after year. For additional information, see http://education.indiana.edu/culturalimmersion or telephone (812) 856-8507.
The American Indian Reservation Project This project features student teaching for participants seeking certification in early childhood, elementary, secondary (selected subject areas), all-grade, and special education. Placements can be made in either semester and span 16-17 weeks. Collaborating schools are located on the Navajo Indian Reservation in Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah, and may be ABureau of Indian Education boarding schools, tribally-controlled schools, or public schools serving American Indian youth. Student teachers are available to American Indian children not only for classroom instruction but also for after-school hours for tutoring, athletics, and cross-cultural interaction. Community involvement with American Indian adults and youth is also required. Living costs on the reservation are quite modest.
The Overseas Project offers teacher candidates the opportunity to student teach in Australia, China, Costa Rica, Ecuador England, India, Ireland, Japan, Kenya, New Zealand, Russia, Scotland, Spain, Turkey or Wales. Participants first complete a 10-16 weeks of student teaching in Indiana before reporting to the overseas site for eight additional weeks of classroom experience. The Overseas Project is designed for pre-service teachers who are interested in comparing and contrasting education systems, learning through travel, and developing an understanding of host nation and international issues. Community involvement and service learning complement the school experience.
The Urban Project engages teacher candidates for 16 weeks of student teaching in the Chicago Public Schools. Participants in the Urban Project should have an interest in and commitment to urban education, to social justice, to increasing pupil achievement, and to closign the achievement gap. The inner city experience includes community-based service, learning and housing in the city neighborhoods that the placement schools serve.
All three cultural projects feature a required preparatory phase spanning at least two semesters designed to familiarize students with the educational, cultural, and community contexts in which they will be placed. Preparatory activities include class attendance, workshops readings, interviews, abstracts, and journaliing. Participants enroll in 10-16 credit hours of student teaching and a minimum of 9 graduate credit hours representing the preparatory and on-site requirements of the cultural projects they have selected. On-site requirements include community-based service learning; weekly or biweekly reports; participation in local meetings, fairs, festivals, and events; cultural study and exploration of historical sites; and final project.