Drs. Gerald McConaghy and Pamela Adams, Faculty of Education Legacy archive (2008).

This article is part of a 2022 Faculty of Education Legacy digitization project and was first published in Legacy 2008.

One of the best ways to learn is through experience. The University of Lethbridge’s Faculty of Education provides students with the opportunity to learn about teaching first-hand through the Field Experiences (FE) program.

Dr. Gerald McConaghy recently completed his second term as assistant dean, Field Experiences, and passed the torch to Dr. Pamela Adams (BEd ’81, MEd ’00) in July 2008. Both McConaghy and Adams share a passion for maintaining excellence in teaching and believe strongly that the program educates and inspires students to shine as future teachers.

“It is a solid program built on a foundation of relationships,” explains McConaghy. “We have good students, our faculty members are very committed to the program and we have wonderful support from the field.”

The Faculty has several unique components that help the FE program maintain its exceptional reputation. For example, Education 2500 ensures only those who have a genuine interest in, and talent for teaching are admitted to the Faculty. A third professional semester (PSIII) provides students with an additional full-semester internship.

“In PSIII the students become more aware of the realities and expectations of teaching while working as half-time teachers with a teacher-mentor,” says McConaghy.

Field experience gives students the opportunity to put theory into practice with the support and guidance of faculty members and teachers in the field.  Students often develop collegial relationships that will benefit them throughout their careers.

During my tenure, our goals were to work with the teachers in Zone 6 to get more placements for students and to help the field understand the needs of our side of the program. We also wanted to learn more about what they do, as well as to recognize and thank them,” remembers McConaghy.

“Together we have achieved those goals. The Faculty has a very good relationship with the teachers and schools we work with. We respect them and the care, hard work and dedication they show on an ongoing basis to the teaching profession and to our student teachers.”

Having participated in the FE program as a student, a teacher associate and a faculty member, Adams brings a multifaceted perspective to the program. She agrees with McConaghy that the field is extremely important and plans to maintain the existing relationship and give students the best possible teaching experiences.

“I would also like to reach out to teachers who are graduates of our program who can now give back to the program by sharing their teaching expertise with our students,” says Adams. “We are here not only to support but to advance the teaching profession. It is our responsibility to help our students become master teachers so that they can help nurture the leaders of tomorrow.”

This article first published in the Faculty of Education Legacy 2008.

For more information please contact:

Darcy Tamayose
Communications Officer
Dean's Office • Faculty of Education
University of Lethbridge
Learn more about the Faculty of Education: Legacy Magazine (2008-2019)
Twitter: @ULethbridgeEdu Website: uleth.ca/education
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