This page is for students of Merritt College interested in taking the Preschool Practicum course. If you are a parent who is interested in enrolling your child in our Preschool Lab, click HERE
55A Lab Practicum:
The 55A preschool laboratory is our culminating teaching course required for all Child Development majors. In 55A, you will work directly with children, under supervision, in a working preschool. As a student teacher in the Lab Practicum, you will write activity plans for a variety of learning centers, then implement them with children in the school. You will learn and practice tools and skills to facilitate children’s learning. Working as part of a team with other student teachers, you will develop the skill of objective observation in order to document behavior and modify teaching strategies. You will practice developmentally appropriate guidance and discipline techniques, leading a group of children for circle time, learn to appropriately plan a children’s snack, and demonstrate required health and safety routines. This class is a fast paced and exciting experience that will give you a feel for how to run your own classroom, in a safe and structured environment. We find that regardless of previous work experience, graduates of the 55A Lab Practicum overwhelmingly report that it was an incredibly valuable time that helped them grow both personally and professionally!
55C Advanced Lab Practicum:
The 55C Advanced preschool laboratory class is a student-led experience designed to deepen your understanding of a topic, picked by you and the instructor together, by implementing a semester-long project based on your interests. From your 55C experiences, you will perceive how the separate pieces of a developmentally appropriate program fit and function together. 55A is a prerequisite for 55C. They may not be taken concurrently.
Some popular subjects in the past have been:
Observation, Documentation, and Assessment: You will observe 1-2 children in the classroom over a longer period of time and create a parent-ready Documentation and Assessment portfolio showcasing the children’s learning.
The Role of a Head Teacher; Supervision and Organization of a Classroom: You will experience a leadership role of head teacher. You will oversee an entire preschool program, supervising 55A student teachers and offering support and feedback, as well as overseeing and supporting the routines and schedule of the classroom.
Emergent Curriculum in a Chosen Activity Area: You will teach an emergent curriculum unit in an activity area chosen by you and the instructor. You will be taught the project cycle and how to expand children’s learning in that area.
Field Work in the Community: Working with the instructor, you will be sent out to one of our community partners, to experience best practices in the field. This pathway allows you to connect with a coach in a high-quality preschool in the area, to offer a broader perspective on what Early Childhood Education can look like when it is treated with respect and care.