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Walking the Walk

Student instructors become better teachers and change lives.

4 February 2013 0 Comments

Hands-on field experience not only strengthens student learning, it can also increase quality of life. Counseling Psychology & Special Education (CPSE) faculty Darlene Anderson, JoAnn Munk, and Michelle Marchant’s presentation “Walking the Walk” showed data on the value of the McKay School’s summer practicum in its positive impact, not only on MSE students but on their elementary school pupils as well.

The mandatory summer practicum gives McKay School students the opportunity to teach in special education classrooms over the summer. Practicum participants are distributed into two elementary schools, one in the Alpine district and the other in Nebo. These BYU students instruct five to eight elementary school students, supervised by a teacher from the host school. This is the first formal teaching position for many McKay School students, giving them a valuable learning experience which includes the opportunity to work with a professional educator.

Participating elementary school students also benefit from the arrangement. They receive not only a little extra education, but more individual attention and personalized assistance. “It’s a win-win situation,” said Anderson, “Our students become better educators, and the children who come to their classes benefit.”

The summer classes help these special needs students retain the information they have learned throughout the school year, resulting in significant measurable student achievement. Parents of these students expressed that they feel their children are benefitting from the class; some have put their children on waitlists to participate.  From a quantitative view, standardized test scores for participating children have increased significantly over the past three years.

“We can measure meaningful student outcomes, and positive outcomes appear to be related to mentoring,” Anderson said of the program. Through this summer practicum McKay School students and children across the Nebo and Alpine districts are all gaining a better education.

Click here to see the PowerPoint “Walking the Walk.”

February 4, 2013

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