Reimagining Fieldwork

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Abstract

This action research examined the role of clinical fieldwork, adaptations during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the perceptions of fieldwork value held by graduate students teaching on an alternative license in the ESL classroom in the state of Tennessee, USA. A broad goal of the study was to assess the fieldwork requirement mandated by national and state accrediting bodies for teacher preparation and to adjust, adapt, and revise tasks to meet the demands of today’s classrooms within the context of professional licensure requirements. Multiple forms of data were collected over a four-month period and consisted of interviews, surveys, online discussions, artifacts, and field journals. Ongoing analysis took place as a working theory emerged. Findings indicate that although fieldwork presents numerous challenges to graduate students who are also practicing teachers, there are benefits for those preparing to work with linguistically diverse learners. However, viable options through the use of technological resources were identified, which may prove to serve as alternative avenues for fieldwork in the future.