I-STEP radically altered the conception of professional preparation.
The students in I-STEP follow a schedule that has them in class on campus for three hours, three days a week, and in public school placements for five hours, once a week.
As indicated above, all I-STEP students spend time in both a high school and in a middle school.
Another central feature of I-STEP is the role of inquiry and problem-based learning in preparing future teachers.
In establishing the I-STEP experience, the faculty deliberately chose to model such reflection for our students.
The I-STEP experience uses problems to anchor larger blocks of understanding for the students (Stepien & Gallagher, 1993).
In its reliance on inquiry and problem-based learning, I-STEP does more than encourage students' reflective dispositions.
I-STEP has a commitment to building a sense of community among the preservice students and faculty.
Beyond these advantages, working together in many different configurations and with a sense of a common group goal (to be successful teachers) facilitates a sense of community among the I-STEP students.
In keeping with the theme of modeling behaviors for our students, I-STEP incorporates a balanced view of assessment, which includes traditional assessment, performance assessment, portfolio assessment, and the use of final exhibitions.
Traditional assessment in I-STEP takes the form of essay and objective tests.
Performance assessment is also a portion of the I-STEP experience.