Report #292

DATE: October 29, 2004
PARTIES: Mr. L. (the Student) v. Woodsworth College


Hearing Date(s): October 7, 2004

Committee Members:
Professor Emeritus R. Scane (Chair)
Professor M. Beattie
Professor C. Beghtol
Dr. G. Halbert
Mr. S. Neata

Secretary:
Mr. P. Holmes, Judicial Affairs Officer

Appearances:

For the Student:

Mr. L. (the Student)
Mr. L. (the Student’s father)

For Woodsworth College:
Ms Y. Ali
Ms S. Isbister
Principal M. O’Neill-Karch

Woodsworth – grade appeal – flaws in the training and “feedback” processes of the practicum – the position of the Student was not significantly different from that of other students in similar placements – teacher trainers not required to submit interim reports – recommendation that teacher trainers be required to submit an interim report to the Faculty, with a copy being given to the student – weight of required instruction unclear – recommendation that the weight of the instruction must be determined and published in advance if it is to be evaluated in determining final results – not probable that the Student would have passed the practicum had the procedural matters not existed – appeal dismissed – Faculty advised that the Student could retake the practicum, while retaining credit for other courses taken – recommendation that fees be waived should Student repeat the practicum

Appeal from a grade of “fail” in the practicum for the Certificate Program in Teaching English as a Second Language. The Student claimed that there were flaws in the training and “feedback” processes of the practicum, which adversely affected his performance, and deprived him of an opportunity to correct the faults identified. The Student claimed that the teacher trainer had rushed him through the programme and did not permit him to develop and use his own materials in his teaching. The Student also claimed that the teacher trainer did not give him current appraisals and that the Academic Coordinator had never visited his classroom. With respect to the training process, the Committee found that the time frame of the teaching period of the practicum was limited by the contract with the School Board and the teacher trainer’s own plans for the class, and that the development of lesson plans was not an objective of the practicum. The Committee found no basis for finding that the position of the Student was significantly different from that of other students in similar placements. With respect to “feedback”, the Committee found that the Faculty did not require teacher trainers to submit interim reports. The Committee recommended that teacher trainers be required to submit an interim report to the Faculty, with a copy being given to the student. The Committee found that while it was not feasible for the Academic Coordinator to visit every student’s classroom, a written interim report on each student would allow the Academic Coordinator to attend classes of the relatively few students who appeared to be in trouble. The Committee stated that it was unclear as to the weight, if any, of the four hours of instruction outside the teacher trainers’ classrooms, but that if the instruction was to be evaluated in determining the final result of the practicum, the weight must be determined and published in advance. The Committee found that it was not probable that the Student would have passed the practicum had the noted procedural matters not existed. Appeal dismissed. The Faculty had advised the Committee that the Student could retake the practicum, while retaining credit for the other courses taken in the program. The Committee recommended that if the Student repeats the practicum, the course fees should be waived.