Education Practicum at Herring Gut Alternative Learning Center

Adam Howard, Colby Education Program

Grace Fowler Teaching at Herring Gut

Every January Term, around twenty-five Colby students in the Education Program complete a practicum at schools near and far, a requirement for majors and minor in education. During the practicum, students serve as assistant teachers, tutor students, work with students individually, observe professional teachers, and prepare and present lesson plans if appropriate. To fulfill requirements of the practicum, students complete 120 hours at minimum.

In January Term 2017, Grace Fowler ’17 became the first Colby student to complete the practicum at Herring Gut. During the practicum, she lived on campus, worked closely with teachers, planned individual lessons, worked with students on an individual basis, and made connections with the local Port Clyde community. As an environmental studies major and education minor, the practicum provided Grace an unique opportunity to combine her interests.

As an education institution guided by alternative methods, experiential forms of education, Herring Gut Learning Center provides Colby students unique learning experiences. Specifically, Colby practicum students are provided the necessary context to:

  • Obtain knowledge that is unique to the particular education offered at Herring Gut;
  • Have opportunities for teaching experiences in the learning center, work with students directly, and develop skills and knowledge for teaching;
  • Examine and clarify attitudes and values about teaching, and practice teaching related skills;
  • Gain experience in interacting with learners of different cultural backgrounds, with special problems and needs, and from communities different from their own;
  • Develop skills in observation, teaching, guidance and discipline, classroom organization, assessment and evaluation, use of varied materials and equipment, and self-evaluation;
  • Develop a questioning attitude of self and the environment to gain insights for growth;
  • Appreciate individual differences and legitimate the individual experiences brought to the group setting;
  • Develop communication and leadership skills.

In partnership with Colby, Herring Gut is working with a filmmaker to document Grace’s learning experiences during January as a resource for future students considering  a Herring Gut teaching practicum. In future January Terms, we are planning to place two students in this immersive practicum.   

For more information please contact Adam Howard, Director of the Colby Education Program.