ED*302: Field Study II
(CESP*353 at the Umbra Institute in Perugia, Italy)
Learning Artifacts: Field Study Reflections & Lessons
About the Learning Artifacts
During the spring semester of my junior year, unlike my other MAT classmates who stayed in their field study placements from the fall, I decided to take my field study experience overseas. I studied abroad in the spring 2016 semester in Perugia, Italy, a small, countryside city located in the region of Umbria in central Italy. I was the first MAT student to not only take my education seminar classes abroad, but also take my field study experience abroad. Since the Umbra Institute where I studied had a seminar and practicum track like my University, I was able to do my observational field study in a local elementary classroom, as well as reflect upon these experiences and learn new high-leverage teaching practices at the Umbra Institute in my CESP*353: Education in Italy course (otherwise known as ED*302: Field Study II at my University in the U.S.). I taught in a third- and a fifth-grade classroom. I actually accumulated more field study hours than I would have back at home, and actually created lessons and taught them, giving me more first-hand teaching experience than I would have gotten back at home. I believe this is due to their need for a fluent, native English-speaker like myself to effectively teach this second language to local elementary Italian students. I am forever grateful for this once-in-a-lifetime experience, and I will apply these skills if I ever have ELLs in my future classroom.
I chose both my reflective papers and my weekly field study lessons as my learning artifacts from this course. My reflections not only grant insight into my field study experience, but also the literature we read for our seminar that helped us to enhance our ELL teaching practices. My weekly field study lessons took the form of PowerPoints since the students responded well to pairing English vocabulary with visual aids, especially when these visual aids were realistic and photographs from people, places, and things in my hometown. The teachers I worked alongside of and taught for asked to put my PowerPoint lessons on their school website so other teachers could use them as teaching resources. So, although I was nervous at first since this was the first time I would be teaching English as a second language, this was such a highlight at the end of my field study experience abroad and gave me comfort knowing that the lessons I created went a long way for both Italian teachers and students, alike. Each of these learning artifacts can be found below, along with the link to access my PowerPoint lessons.