Internships and Practicums

Practicums and internships serve as the two types of field experience in education. Internships tend to require more practical experience, and practicums tend to constitute as part of a program's coursework. They both offer similar experiences and generally get lumped together under the broader student-teaching category. Non-teaching internships focus more on educational policy and service.

Teaching programs that require an internship or a practicum provide students with the opportunity to work in a classroom and gain valuable experience with students at the elementary, middle, or high school levels. Both practicums and internships allow students to work with young learners and apply the skills, theories, and research they acquired in their coursework to a school setting. However, an internship may require a greater time commitment.

Teaching programs that require an internship or a practicum provide students with the opportunity to work in a classroom and gain valuable experience

Depending on the program, students in a practicum or in an internship may design curricula, present lessons, and take part in activities with their classes. In teaching practicums and internships, college students work with licensed and experienced classroom teachers who direct and supervise their activities, providing feedback along the way.

A practicum involves visiting a classroom several times a week for several weeks. An internship involves everyday teaching for an entire semester and affords education majors more autonomy in the classroom. Some education programs require students to complete both a practicum and an internship, with the practicum functioning as an introduction to the greater responsibilities of the internship.

Education majors enjoy several options for finding an internship or student-teaching position. College and university career centers and online job boards and internship databases provide lists of available internships. Similarly, job fairs and recruiting events give students a chance to meet directly with representatives from schools and employers.

Your School's Career Center

Your institution offers student-support and career-service links that provide lists of degree-specific internships and job opportunities. It also provides information about how to create a resume or prepare for an interview.

Job Fairs

Job fairs bring internship providers into one place so that students can network and talk to a variety of representatives. At job fairs, students can find out about internships specific to their interests.

Recruiting Events

Internship providers and schools that need teaching interns visit colleges and universities to recruit education majors. They may invite students on site, depending on the specific event and location.

Alumni Network

College and university alumni provide networking opportunities to current students and often look for candidates for internships and job openings from their old school. Students can work with their school's alumni office or with departmental personnel who keep current alumni information.

Job Boards and Internship Databases

Job boards and internship databases online provide lists of internships worldwide. These resources provide students with the ability to search for their specific interests and preferred locations.

Teaching Internship Opportunities

  • Scholastic Scholastic provides resources for educators to use in the classroom, including activities, book lists, and online tools. In addition to content for kids, parents, and educators, Scholastic also boasts helpful teaching tips.
  • TeachHub.com Provided by the K-12 Teachers Alliance, TeachHub.com offers teaching and learning resources, professional development information, and insights into classroom experiences. The site also offers advice and resources for education students as they prepare for their student teaching.
  • Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development Future student teachers can access information about how supervisors see their role through this site. This can give teaching practicum and internship participants a guide to the key questions they need to ask.
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