This program is a two-year consecutive teacher education program. Graduates of the program will earn a Bachelor of Education (BEd) degree and will be qualified to teach the Ontario curriculum within the Primary/Junior division (kindergarten to Grade 6) or the Junior/Intermediate division (Grade 4 to Grade 10).
The program is designed to meet all Ontario legislated requirements and incorporates the Standards of Practice and Ethical Standards for the Teaching Profession of the Ontario College of Teachers. Laurier recommends graduates to the Ontario College of Teachers for certification to practice in the Ontario education system.
What makes our program unique is the amount of time you spend in the classroom practicing your skills. Only Laurier’s Teacher Education Candidates (TECs) have the opportunity to spend two days per week in schools throughout the program, in addition to five block placements.
Our program has strong links with five local school boards, and you’ll spend at least two days each week in a Professional Development School (PDS) placement throughout two years, in addition to completing five block practicum placements. You’ll regularly link the theory you’ll learn in your university classes to the teaching experiences of your placements.
The PDS model has been recognized as a key strength of our program and differentiates us among faculties of education within Ontario. You’ll be assigned to one school for an entire year for extensive, in-depth, and sustained field experiences. Beginning your first week, you’ll spend two days in your PDS placement. In your second year, you’ll be assigned to a different PDS so you can experience two schools that serve different student populations. This will broaden your knowledge of the Ontario context in which elementary or secondary schools operate.
Your five block practica are distributed throughout your two years at Laurier. In your first year, you’ll have two block placements in the fall term and another three-week practicum block after March break.
You must also complete a three-week alternative placement at the end of your first year. For your alternative placement, you can work in a volunteer capacity in various learning contexts (e.g. federally run schools, Section 23 programs, KidsAbility, museums, outdoor education centres, etc.), or take advantage of an international teaching opportunity.
In your second year, you’ll have two practica in the fall term (a two-week block and a three-week block). You’ll finish your course work in early February and then engage in a 10-week Laurier professional placement. This final placement will support you in transitioning from student-teacher to practicing professional, as you work hand-in-hand with a mentor teacher.
Laurier has partnered with the Waterloo Region, Waterloo Catholic, Upper Grand, Wellington District and Halton District school boards to provide you with extensive, in-depth and sustained field experiences. All of your practica must occur within these school boards, because we have deep partnerships with them and meet regularly to align priorities. The schools in these boards who choose to welcome you know and understand our program’s conceptual framework.
The Faculty of Education has formalized a commitment to Indigenous education, with the following goals:
Working to accomplish these goals, we have a specific course dedicated to Indigenous topics and Truth and Reconciliation calls to action. We integrate Indigenous worldviews and cultures within the majority of our courses as well as host guest speakers and weekly 'Lunch and Learn' sharing circles devoted to our TECs developing a greater understanding of contemporary Indigenous topics and incorporating ways of knowing into lesson plans. We also take field trips to Indigenous settings, encourage alternative placements on reserves and provide hundreds of Indigenous resources on a dedicated website.
In addition, Laurier’s Indigenous Student Centre is a resource to both Indigenous and non-Indigenous learners who are studying at Laurier and offers a welcoming space to study, meet up with friends or grab a bite to eat. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Global Perspective
Laurier offers more practical teaching experience in the classroom than any other education program. But did you realize you could be in classrooms around the world to gain this experience? Laurier graduate Sarah Fischer travelled with Assistant Professor Steve Sider on a service-learning trip to Haiti. “It would be fitting to say that this trip has changed my life in an abundance of ways — mostly the way I see the education system and the way I see developing nations,” says Sarah. “Taking the time to see all aspects of the culture in Haiti, including the different school systems and the malnourishment center, gave me the chance to reflect on the bigger picture.”
Laurier offers more practical teaching experience in the classroom than any other education program. But did you realize you could be in classrooms around the world to gain this experience? Laurier graduate Sarah Fischer travelled with Assistant Professor Steve Sider on a service-learning trip to Haiti.
“It would be fitting to say that this trip has changed my life in an abundance of ways — mostly the way I see the education system and the way I see developing nations,” says Sarah. “Taking the time to see all aspects of the culture in Haiti, including the different school systems and the malnourishment center, gave me the chance to reflect on the bigger picture.”
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