From Pandemic Pivot to Community Outreach: Homeschool Students as Participants for Course-Based Field Placements

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Hermann, R. S., & Honeychuck, M. G. (2023). From pandemic pivot to community outreach: Homeschool students as participants for course-based field placements. Innovations in Science Teacher Education, 8(1). Retrieved from
by Ronald S. Hermann, Towson University; & Maureen G. Honeychuck, Towson University


The Covid-19 pandemic resulted in a pivot to online instruction for our university and the surrounding K–12 schools. The instructors of the Classroom Interactions course faced the challenge of developing an online version of a course we had never taught that included a class-based field experience. During the fall semester, we struggled to recruit secondary students to participate in preservice teacher (PST) lessons, so we invited homeschool students to participate in the spring semester. This article outlines our approach to inviting homeschool students to participate in online PST-developed lessons. We outline our approach to utilizing the 5 Practices for Orchestrating Task-Based Discussions in Science (Cartier et al., 2013) to develop lessons, and we share PST and parent feedback on the experience. Additionally, we share the lessons we learned from this experience and suggestions for other teacher educators who may be interested in inviting homeschool students to participate in PST-developed field experiences. PSTs were able to focus on their lesson objective, instruction, and discourse moves for leading productive discussions because the PSTs and students did not experience many of the typical classroom distractions or behavioral issues that can occur during in-person learning in a school setting. Teacher educators interested in having more autonomy and input into how course-based field placements are implemented are encouraged to explore options to include homeschool students in-person or virtually.

Innovations Journal articles, beyond each issue's featured article, are included with ASTE membership. If your membership is current please login at the upper right.

Become a member or renew your membership


Aasen, S. H. (2010). New followers of an old path—Homeschoolers. The Journal for Quality and Participation, 32(4), 12–14. 

Backes, B., Goldhaber, D., Cade, W., Sullivan, K., & Dodson, M. (2018). Can UTeach? Assessing the relative effectiveness of STEM teachers. Economics of Education Review, 64, 184–198. 

Balingit, M. & Rabinowitz, K. (2021, July 27). Home schooling exploded among Black, Asian and Latino students. But it wasn’t just the pandemic. The Washington Post.  

Boesdorfer, S. B. (2019). Providing clinical experience for preservice chemistry teachers through a homeschool association collaboration. Innovations in Science Teacher Education, 4(2). 

Buns, M. T., Pettitt, C., & Blanton, J. (2017). Using the MAP-IT framework for implementing a homeschool physical education program at a university campus. International Journal of Sports and Physical Education, 3(2), 11–17. 

Cartier, J. L., Smith, M. S., Stein, M. K., & Ross, D. K. (2013). 5 practices for orchestrating productive task-based discussions in science. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics; NSTA Press. 

Danielson, C. (2014). The Framework for Teaching Evaluation Instrument: 2013 edition (Version 1.2). The Danielson Group. 

Darling-Hammond, L. (2014). Strengthening clinical preparation: The holy grail of teacher education. Peabody Journal of Education, 89(4), 547–561. 

Everhart, B. (1998). Perceptions of home-schooled physical education: Views from parents, students, and preservice teachers. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, 69(9), 51–55. 

Everhart, B., & McKethan, R. (2004). Preservice teachers’ reflections on their home-school clinical teaching experience: Evidence to support an alternative field experience for teacher educators. Physical Educator, 61(4), 177–185. 

Feldman, P., & Kent, A. M. (2006). A collaborative effort: Bridging theory and practice in pre-service preparation. The New Educator, 2(4), 277–288. 

Goodson, B., Caswell, L., Dynarski, M., Price, C., Litwok, D., Crowe, E., Meyer, R., & Rice, A. (2019). Teacher preparation experiences and early teaching effectiveness (NCEE 2019-4010). National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. 

Howell, C. (2013). Hostility or indifference? The marginalization of homeschooling in the education profession. Peabody Journal of Education, 88(3), 355–364. 

Hunter, P. E., & Botchwey, N. D. (2017). Partnerships in learning: A collaborative project between higher education students and elementary school students. Innovative Higher Education, 42(1), 77–90. 

McPhee, C., Jackson, M., Bielick, S., Masterton, M., Battle, D., McQuiggan, M., Payri, M., Cox, C., & Medway, R. (2018). National Household Education Surveys Program of 2016: Data file user’s manual (NCES 2018-100). National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. 

Ray, B. D. (2013). Homeschooling associated with beneficial learner and societal outcomes but educators do not promote it. Peabody Journal of Education, 88(3), 324–341. 

Redford, J., Battle, D., & Bielick, S. (2017). Homeschooling in the United States: 2012 (NCES 2016-096.REV). National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. 

Windschitl, M., Thompson, J., & Braaten, M. (2018). Ambitious science teaching. Harvard Education Press. 

Zolfaghari, M., Austin, C. K., Kosko, K. W. & Ferdig, R. E. (2020). Creating asynchronous virtual field experiences with 360 video. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 28(2), 315–320.