SPD 540 RS Clinical Field Experience

By Editorial Team Last updated: Jun 19, 2022

SPD 540 RS Clinical Field Experience

Prior to your field experience, review the requirements of all field experiences for this course. Create a document to share with your mentor teacher detailing your requirements for all field experiences for this course, as well as what is being requested of your mentor. This document should include the scheduling required to complete all assignments. 

The ability to effectively manage a classroom and meet the behavior and instructional needs of students both with and without disabilities is very complex.

  • Choose a special education classroom, selecting the grade level (K-12) and classroom setting (resource, self-contained, or inclusive classroom) you are most interested in teaching. You will use this field experience to observe and experience the many considerations involved in that setting.
  • Allocate at least 4 hours in the field to support this field experience.
  • Observe and collaborate with a K-12 certified special education teacher in an inclusive classroom, resource room, and/or self-contained classroom on the elements that help create a positive, safe, and productive learning environment. Your final observations and summary of your hands-on experiences will be due in Clinical Field Experience B.
  • While you are observing, use the "Clinical Field Experience A: Observation Template" to take notes about the elements of the classroom learning environment.
  • Use any remaining field experience hours to assist the teacher in providing instruction and support to the class.
  • At the bottom of the template provide a 250-500 word rationale why you chose this grade level and environment to observe. Summarize your findings about the elements of the classroom learning environment in the "Clinical Field Experience A: Observation Template."
  • Explain how you will use your findings in your future professional practice, specifically in terms of how you will work with paraprofessionals, other faculty members, and teachers.
  • APA format is not required, but solid academic writing is expected.

This assignment uses a rubric. Review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion. You are required to submit assignments that are print deliverables to LopesWrite. A link to the LopesWrite technical support articles is located in Class Resources if you need assistance. Document the locations and hours you spend in the field on your Clinical Field Experience Verification Form.

Submit the Clinical Field Experience Verification Form to the LMS in the last topic. Directions for submitting can be found on the College of Education site in the Student Success Center.


Clinical Field Experience A: Observation Template

While you are observing, take notes about the following elements of classroom learning environments:

  • The classroom management theories and strategies that are implemented.
  • How the classroom is arranged.
  • How the accessibility and safety needs of all students are met.
  • How the learning needs of all students are met. (If students without disabilities are present, also consider how the learning needs of all students are balanced in the mixed setting.)
  • What the social expectations are for the students present.
  • How students are encouraged to be themselves, and be respectful of other students.
  • How the learning environment is designed to encourage active participation in individual and group activities.
  • Whether the least intensive behavior management strategy is used and is consistent with the needs of individuals with disabilities.
  • How legal and ethical considerations are addressed, including how confidential student data is handled.
  • How paraeducators, volunteers, and tutors support are structured, directed, and supported to create positive learning environments.




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