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Firsthand Learning From The Field: A Self-study of Graduates Carried out by the Sonoma State University School of Education


Mark St. John, Laura Stokes, Ph.D., Judy Hirabayashi, Inverness Research Inc.


This report describes a study where Sonoma State School of Education faculty went out to learn firsthand about the realities of the classrooms and schools in which their graduates were working. Adopting the stance of learner, rather than teacher, these faculty asked recent graduates to show them their teaching, their classrooms and their schools. They asked the graduates to teach them about their goals for their students and the issues they were facing as new teachers. In addition, they explored carefully with these graduates the ways in which they did, and did not, feel well prepared by their Sonoma State educational programs. This report describes the process of that study, the themes that emerged from the faculty study of their graduates, and the overall benefits of this kind of common sense approach to gaining feedback from the field. The Sonoma State University School of Education contracted with Inverness Research Associates to provide assistance with developing this new evaluation system.


Sonoma State University School of Education

Intended Audience

Department Heads of Education Departments and general public.


Any and all errors are claimed by the authors of this document, Inverness Research

Date published

April 1999

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Inverness Research Inc. grants permission to print and distribute copies.

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