What Students Need to Know about the Cinical Teaching Process (and Why)

The goal of clinical education is to develop competent, independent, reflective professionals. Through active participation in the clinical education process, students will develop positive habits of practice and skills for life-long learning. Active participation does not just happen – students need to learn how to take on this role.

“…[students] begin clinical work with a nebulous idea of what is expected of them and generally anticipate functioning in a passive role.” (Dowling, p. 248)

Ideas for the Clinical Educator:

  • find out what the student already knows about the clinical education process (the university typically covers this prior to the start of students’ placements)
  • explain your philosophy of clinical teaching and your role as clinical educator
  • “write personal definitions of supervision and list the characteristics of a “good” supervisor and a “good” supervisee…If there is a mismatch between perceived roles and the goals for the supervisory process, this will become apparent in the discussion, and modifications can be made.” (McCrea & Brasseur, p. 51-52)
  • remember that expectations and needs may change over the course of the placement so allow for ongoing dialogue about the supervisory process.

What strategies do you find work well ? Let us know


Dowling, S. (2001). Supervision: Strategies for Successful Outcomes and Productivity. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

McCrea, E. & Brasseur, J. (2003). The Supervisory Process in Speech-Language Pathology andAudiology. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.