Siskin Children's Institute

Class Observation

UTC students observe an inclusive classroom as part of their introduction to assessment class being taught at the institute.



A Class of Its Own

Special thanks to the Siskin Children’s Institute for allowing us to reprint this article, seen in Reach magazine, Vol. 2, No. 1, an educational resource connecting the community.

Through the halls of Siskin Children’s Institute, you often hear the sounds of laughter and chatter and the rustle of activity from a class of college students

For the first time, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is partnering with Siskin Children’s Institute to offer a course on site at the Institute.

"We are very excited that Siskin Children’s Institute is opening its doors to our students to help them learn," says Linda Smith, assistant professor and acting director of the Teacher Education Program at UTC. "Through this partnership, our students gain hands-on experience and ample opportunity to observe both children and professionals in action helping them become better teachers in the future."

A junior/senior level education course, the class provides an introduction to academic and behavior evaluation. It covers basic principles and techniques used to evaluate children with special needs.

"Because the class is taught at the Institute, the students learn theories through lecture and other activities, and then they see how the theories are put into practice," Dr. Smith explains. "They get to hear from professionals who administer the tests on a daily basis as well as observe how they are used. It’s a phenomenal opportunity."

Members of the Siskin staff assist Dr. Smith in teaching the class. After the formal lecture, discussion, and other activities, the UTC students venture into the observation rooms that adjoin Siskin’s classrooms. Through one-way mirrors and sound systems, they can watch, listen and learn from the children’s activities.

The UTC students have fallen in love with the children at the Institute. "They love to watch the children play and interact," says Dr. Smith. "It’s also wonderful and exciting to hear them say they can’t wait to be in the classrooms themselves as teachers. We are so grateful to Siskin Children’s Institute for giving our students this amazing experience."