Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - January 15, 1975, Lethbridge, Alberta
More classroom experience U ofL pro gram to weed out poor teacher prospects By JIM GRANT Herald Staff Writer A new program being introduced at the University of Lethbridge is designed to weed out poor teacher prospects before they leave the university. The program more than doubles the amount of practical experience the stu- dent receives while training to become a teacher. It also establishes a teacher orienta- tion course that is a compulsory prere- quisite for entry into the education faculty. The two changes in the university's approach to teacher training are designed to assist students, with the help of the un- iversity, to decide whether they are capable of becoming a good teacher and if a teaching career meets their expec- tations. The need for more practical experience for future teachers has been a concern of educators and school trustees for years in this province. The new four year bachelor of educa- tion program introduced to the University of Lethbridge this month allows students to obtain classroom experience in four steps. As of this month, U of L students in the second year of the arts and science program are permitted the option of tak- ing the teacher orientation course if they. wish to investigate whether teaching is of interest to them as a career. Since the course is. compulsory for entrance to the faculty of education, students who don't enrol in the course dur- ing their second year of arts and science can take the course during summer school. Two years in arts and science con- tinues to be a prerequisite to entry into the education faculty at the U of L. Test ability to communicate The teacher orientation course calls' for the student teacher to spend six hours a week in a school assisting a teacher or working with and supervising students. The new course is required prior to entrance into the education faculty so students interested in pursuing a career in education are able to discover if that is really what they want or are suited to before investing both time and money in a whole semester of education courses, Education Dean Bob Anderson said in an interview. "Once the student is in that course we also test them for their ability to com- municate. Through this course the students who can't communicate effec- tively could be weeded he said while pointing to the need for good com- municators in the classroom. Failure to pass the teacher orientation course will not eliminate a person forever from the faculty of education, the dean ad- vises. Remedial courses could be taken to improve the student's communication skills and the teacher orientation course could again be taken for entry into the faculty. The second step in the new four year degree program has not been fully developed as students will not be entering the faculty under the new system until this fall. However, the department is discussing the feasibility of students spending up to five halt days in a school classroom as teacher aids. The second step is one of "getting them ready to get out and explains Dr. Anderson. The student teachers' experience in a school would be planned to complement the teacher readiness courses offered in the first semester of education. This includes such areas of study as school organization, lesson planning, discipline, teaching styles and the use of the library and audio visual aids. More than one specialty The third step will occur in the second semester in the education faculty. The students will spend the full semester in a school with a teacher associate, the classroom teacher who has been designated to" assist the student. "Teaching experience becomes much more realistic at this the educa- tion dean says. "They are in the school long enough to become part of the school." At this point in training under the old system, student teachers only spent six weeks in the classroom compared with 12 weeks planned for in the four year program. The students will actually be teaching for part of the semester and the teacher associates will be providing a "major in- put" into shaping the prospective teachers' careers during this semester, says Dean Anderson. The fourth step allows the teacher trainee to gain practical experience in a specialized teaching area of interest such as general elementary or early childhood education. This step includes the final two semesters of the fburS "year., bachelor of. education program (four semesters in arts and science and four semesters in In this final year before certification, teacher trainees will be required to com- plete eight elective courses in education or arts and science. The U of L education graduates are prepared to teach in more than one specialized area of instruction and it is during their final year at the university that they are able to gain valuable ex- perience in their chosen specialties, Dr. Anderson explains. Special assist for trainees Having more than one specialty im- proves the chances of finding employment, he points out. TTie new four year program is welcom- ed by both the Alberta Teachers Associa- tion and local school jurisdictions who have been involved in the step by step process of development during the past seven years. Alberta Teachers Association official Jack Fotheringham said in a telephone interview from Calgary "there is a lot of merit to the whole concept." The association has always advocated more classroom experience before cer- tification so teachers are familar with the total teaching role prior to entering the teaching profession, adds Mr. Fotheringham, who is the association's liason with the faculty of education at the Universities of Lethbridge and Calgary. Lethbridge Public School Superinten- dent Bob Plaxton has been arguing for 10 years in favor of extending the amount of time student teachers spend in the classroom. When students can work full time for a whole semester rather than just come in for a "day here and they ex- perience the whole depth of a school's operation, he says of step three in the program. Lethbridge Separate School Superinten- dent Ralph Himsl is "quite optimistic" about the product the program will produce. He feels the advice the teacher associates are able to provide the prospec- tive teachers will be an enormous asset in their careers. Seven years in development Extra time spent observing and working in the classroom is beneficial but much of the value of working with'an experienced teacher is being able to discuss teaching procedures and methods outside the classroom, he explains. Mr. Himsl, Dr. Plaxton and Mr. Fotheringham all emphasized the'need for teachers to be given time off regular classroom duties to assist the teacher trainees so any individual assistance provided the trainee will not distract from the time the teachers spends with the grade school students. The U of L will continue to use Lethbridge separate, public and county as well as Southern Alberta rural schools as the source of practical experience for its education students. In the past, co operating teachers have been paid an honorarium for assisting the university by working with a teacher trainee in the classroom. Dr. Plaxton believes a teacher should not be paid extra money to participate in the university program. It would be wiser to re-channel the money used to provide an honorarium toward the hiring of additional staff so the teacher associate would be free from classroom duties for a set period of time each day to assist the teacher trainee, he suggests. Aubrey Earl, co ordinator of teacher education at the U of L, says the method of rewarding the teacher associate will be developed over the next few months by the university and its advisory groups. The method used is to be established before implementation of the second phase of the program this fall. The U of L has been provided with a special fund "ear marked" by the province for the introduction of the four year education degree program with its extended practicum (teaching ex- While the U of L has been developing the program for seven years, the provincial government simplified its introduction by demanding that the universities introduce an extended practicum by this fall. With the demand came the financial assistance. The Universities of Calgary and Alberta also will be introducing an extended prac- ticum this fall, but Dean Anderson doesn't believe their programs will be nearly as extensive because of the number of students they have to work with. Judge quashes fluoridation application By KEN ROBERTS Herald SUH Writer An application by a city resident on behalf of .the Lethbridge Safe Water Committee to quash the fluoridation bylaw was dismissed in District Court Tuesday. Mona Thorburn who filed the application told The Herald the safe committee would possibly appeal the decision all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada. In a swom affidavit in support of her application Miss Thorburn alleg- ed certain irregularities had oc- curred in the election. Parts of the affidavit were read in court. Doug Maxwell, lawyer for the committee, told Judge D. H. Medhurst of Calgary if he found anything irregular about the elec- tion he would have to find the bylaw irregular. However, Judge Medhurst ruled he found no irregularities. He said he believed the fluoridation plebiscite held during the October civic election was conducted properly. Mr. Maxwell argued that one of the irregularities was the ballot on fluoridation. He claimed the sample ballot was confusing and encourag- ed people to vote for fluoridation. Judge Medhurst did not agree. He said by a simple reading of the ballot a voter could decide whether he was Cor or against fluoridation. On a charge voting directions had not been properly placed in voting booths, Judge Medhurst said there wasn't sufficient evidence to sup- port this claim. Another irregularity alleged was that several ballots in favor of fluoridation marked with a tick were accepted while ballots marked with a tick against fluoridation were rejected. Judge Medhurst ruled the only evidence given to back this claim up could be classed as hearsay or con- jecture. The only way this claim could be determined was by a judicial recount. The committee earlier asked for a judicial recount but was turned down because it was late in making its application. On a charge there was no voting instructions in some of the polls, Judge Medhurst said in these in- stances people were given instruc- tions and were able to vote in a proper way and therefore this didn't really have an effect on the vote. Mr. Maxwell alleged there were 20 times as many rejected ballots in the fluoridation plebiscite as in the aldermanic and separate school board vote. Judge Medhurst said the number of fluoridation ballots rejected was not abnormally large. City Solicitor John Hammond argued the application to have the bylaw quashed should have been before the courts within six weeks of the vote. Judge Medhurst agreed with him but said he didn't want to dismiss the application on these grounds. He said he wanted to the merits of the application. The Letlibruicjc Herald Second Section Lethbridge, Alberta, Wednesday, January 15, 1975 Pages 15-28 J City's snowdrift demolition team still at it RICK 6RVIN photos Both the drifts and city crews were still at it this week as Chinook winds redistributed the city's snow cover. These drifts covered a sidewalk in front of the nurses' residence at the Gait School of Nursing on 19th Street S. Engineering Director Randy Holfeld said today snow removal crews still have a few locations to get around to, but night operations finished last week. Insert shows work on Corvette Crescent. Crews were out on the week- end and Monday on extra shifts because of the high winds. City council decided Monday it would not review the city snow removal operation until it debates the 1975 city operating budget this spring. May cost school board next year Free driver training passes All Grade 11 students and some Grade 12 students will be given the opportunity of taking driver training in the public school system this fall at the expense of the school board. The board agreed Tuesday to introduce the free driver education program despite criticism from one member that it didn't "touch the sur- face" of the need for driver education at a young age. Trustee Gary Bowie felt the board would be wiser to provide the free driver educa- tion at the Grade 10 level because that age group is just beginning to learn how to drive. By Grade 11, they have already had the "so-called hacks teach them to drive and I am a hack because I have my bad driving he pointed out. He also proposed that the board give consideration to operating its ownin-car train- ing program instead of hiring the Alberta Motor Association to provide the service. AMA INVOLVED Under the new driver educa- tion program approved by the board Wednesday, the high schools will continue to provide the classroom instruction portion of the driver training and the AMA the in-car training. "Now that we are looking at a long range program we should be looking at operating it ourselves rather than hiring the AMA to do Dr. Bowie said while suggesting the local car dealerships would likely supply the cars free as they do for other driver training programs. Director of curriculum George Bevan advised the board that a study had been conducted by the school system three years ago to determine the cost of offering the complete program itself. The study found that the school board could not operate the in-car training as inexpen- sive as the AMA. The AMA charges the school board an hour for its in-car training, a cost per stu- dent of Dr. Bowie argued that the findings of a report three years ago may not be applicable today because of the board's decision to spon- sor the total cost of the train- ing for all Grade 11 students who wish to take it. Previously, the board paid and the student of the cost for in-car training. 800 STUDENTS If all the Grade 11 students took the training and the Grade 12 students who have not taken driver education wished to take it, an es- timated 600 students could receive the training in 1975-76. The total cost to the board could reach close to for both the in-car' and classroom instruction in the next school year. Does the instruction of driver education "become cheaper as we get more students Dr. Bowie questioned. Trustees Reg Turner and Doug McPherson advocated the immediate approval of a free program for all Grade 11 students who wished to take it so school administrators could begin planning for its introduction this fall. It was informally agreed that Dr. Bowie's suggestions should be given consideration during the planning of the program but the trustees fail- ed to take any action on his suggestions Tuesday. When it was explained to him that the introduction of a free course for all Grade 10 students could not be offered during the school day because of the curriculum demands on students in that grade, Dr. Bowie suggested the ad- ministration details could be worked out if necessary. He accused the board of worrying more about the process of organizing courses and timetables than the Grade 10 students who "desperately want and need this type of program." A suggestion he made regarding the use of simulated driving training to replace some.of the in-car training, thu's reducing the overall cost of the program, seemed to meet with a more positive response from the board and will likely be studied during the planning of the program. INSURANCE REBATE A recommendation by Trustee Helen Johnson that students be required to pay a portion of the driver education cost because they receive an insurance rebate when purchasing car insurance I after completing the course i was quickly rejected. i Trustee Dorothy Beckel countered the Johnson recommendation by suggesting every program a student takes in high school may in some way provide a financial reward in future life. Acupuncture therapy I to face strict control By GEORGE STEPHENSON f Herald Staff Writer The government is expected to clamp down soon on acupuncture therapists who are "flocking to Alberta i because of this province's lax guideline for acupunc- ture therapy. L. E. Le Riche, registrar with the Alberta College of i Physicians and Surgeons, said Tuesday he expects the government to be making a policy "very soon." Also, he said, a national health policy on the procedure should be announced this month by federal Health Minister Marc Lalonde, following a Jan. 27-28 meeting in Ottawa which Dr. Le Riche will attend. The province's 12-man college council, which oversees the functions of Alberta doctors, is concerned about unskilled acupuncture therapists entering Alberta to set up shop. "We are very concerned about the spread of disease by a person who maybe has a two-week course from some place in the United Dr. Le Riche said. "We want to stop the quacks because so many of these things can be a rip-off." Other provinces and some states in the U.S. have begun applying tighter regulations on the use of the an cient Chinese art causing some therapists to seek more open markets such as Alberta. The college has requested the government put the use of acupuncture under the college's jurisdiction, deeming it a medical-dental procedure. This would limit the use of the needle therapy to den lists and physicians who have met minimum college or government standards. Dr. Le Riche said the college's concern mainly centres on the use of needles in the procedure. Other procedures under the blanket include treatments with sound, pressure and intense light. "We are primarily interested in he ex- plained. Dr. Keith Nevison, president of the Alberta Chiropractic Association, said he would like to see all acutherapy procedures except needle treatments left governed by each association.