Elementary Education: Practicum

EDUC 420-1

Course Overview and Description of Field Experience:

Education 420 is a full-day student teaching internship in an academically and culturally diverse K - 5 public school classroom in Durham.  Past partners have includes Hillandale Elementary, Club Boulevard Humanities Magnet Elementary, Merrick-Moore Elementary, and CC Spaulding Elementary.  The primary focus of the course is on the application of learning theories and methodologies that reflect current research-based educational practice.   As described in the Elementary Teacher Preparation Program Student Teaching Handbook, the internship is carefully structured and sequenced to allow students to progressively assume teaching responsibilities.  Students begin the internship by observing and assisting the classroom teacher and teaching individual and small-group activities.  Students then gradually move to planning and delivering whole-class lessons in selected content areas, and during the full-time teaching phase, assume all responsibilities of the classroom teacher.  Special attention is given to individualizing each intern's experience.

Course Goals:

  • Inquiry and concept-based instruction as organizing themes for teaching and learning
  • Alignment of teaching and learning goals with state and national frameworks and standards
  • Use of formative and summative assessment to inform instructional practice
  • Differentiation of instruction to meet the needs of all students
  • Ongoing critical reflection to examine impact of instruction on student learning
  • Integration of technology as a tool for teaching and learning
  • Development of emergent leadership skills

NOTE: EDU420 includes a DukeImmerse experience, providing rich and varied opportunities to explore the history and impact of the civil rights movement and examine current and systemic issues related to public schools and equity through the lens of social justice, human rights, and activism. 

DukeImmerse Learning Goals:

  • Gain a deeper understanding of the long term effects of the Civil Rights Movement and the impact on public education. 
  • Critically examine historical and current events related to the Civil Rights Movement and public education and the work of the Southern Poverty Law Center, SPLC Teaching Tolerance Project, and the Equal Justice Initiative. 
  • View documentaries and read selected books followed by critical discussion focused on issues of social justice, human rights, and social activism. 
  • Make a deliberate connection to to issues related to human rights, equity, and advocacy in public education. 

Duke's Program in Education are international leaders in the development of service-learning pedagogies in teacher preparation.  Beyond the scope of traditional fieldwork, our emphasis on engagement reconceptualizes the partnership between pre-service teachers, community schools, and the University by drawing attention to broader social and ethical considerations of the schooling experience. Graduates of our program are unequivocally clear that their commitment to teaching is a commitment to a life of civic engagement.

Engagement, as part of a teaching practicum in elementary schools, in active classroom research projects by designing, implementing, and evaluating units of instruction. Creation of a portfolio of products to demonstrate technology competencies for teaching certification. Students also reflect and write on ethical issues involved in their service experiences in public schools. Includes an optional pre-semester guided study, either domestic or global, focused on culturally and socially responsive teaching and learning. Instructor consent required. Service-Learning course. Instructor: Riggsbee


Instructor: Riggsbee

Enroll Consent

Instructor Consent Required

Curriculum Codes
  • EI
Typically Offered
Fall and/or Spring