The Teaching Internship

Practical Preparation for a Licensed Profession

by Linda Darling-Hammond, Tamar Gendler, Arthur E. Wise


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Using the professional internships of the engineering, psychology, architecture, and medical professions as models, this report proposes standards for teaching internship programs. The internship standards are intended to be embedded in a state's teacher licensing system. As are internships in other professions, teaching internships should be oriented more toward assistance than assessment, more toward enhancing effectiveness than screening. Teaching internships would differ from the current "sink or swim" approach in a number of ways: (1) the intern would learn by doing and by modeling, (2) the intern would assume progressive degrees of responsibility, (3) the intern would receive regular supervision and guidance from senior teachers, and (4) the intern would be guaranteed a specified range of experience. The standards proposed here address five aspects of the internship program — the educational program, interns, administrative structure, faculty and staffing, and facilities and resources.

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