As students begin their journey in preservice early education courses, an important aspect of an introductory level course is the microteaching experience. For the purposes of this article microteaching is defined as the opportunity to present a lesson to a group of peers who role-play as children at the primary level. Although field-based teaching is critical to a student’s educational experience before student teaching the microteaching experience can be a valuable tool for reflecting and evaluation on best instruction. In the process of evaluating practice it became apparent that we might also assess communication competence as well. The Foundations of Early Education course with a microteaching component presented an innovative to appraise the scope of each student’s attention to articulate speech. A collaborative effort between the university’s speech center and the Education department was established. Instruments for faulty and peer evaluation were designed or adjusted to suit the course framework. Our findings correlated to the results of prior studies of across-the-curriculum college programs with a speech communication emphasis where method and manner of approach are meeting particular success in fields and coursework outside departments of speech communication (Cronin and Tony, 1991 & Weiss, 1989). We found evidence of this same kind of success in the positive feedback from students enrolled in the Foundation of Early Education course. Student evaluations of this course have shown us than an approach employing several means of oral communication assessment was considered by students to be most beneficial. Components of this combined approach and the procedures necessary to effectively incorporate it are described below.

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Copyright © 2007-2008 Virginia State Reading Association. This article first appeared in Reading in Virginia: Journal of the Virginia State Reading Association 30 (2007-2008), 23-26.

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