Elementary & Middle Years Option
11-Month Teacher Education Program



primary-teamTeacher candidates in the elementary & middle years option learn together in “cohorts” organized by a particular theme or pedagogical approach. Cohort members take courses together and are assigned practicum placements in schools within specific school districts.

Teacher candidates learn to teach all subject areas in the elementary curriculum: Kindergarten to Grade 7. (Those enrolled in the middle years cohort learn to teach all subject areas in Grades 6 to 8.) While the particular theme or approach varies in each cohort, the courses are the same for all teacher candidates, with each cohort and instructor tailoring the courses in unique ways.

(Note: additional courses and/or credits are required by teacher candidates enrolled in the French, International Baccalaureate, and Montessori cohorts.)

This option has 60 credits of coursework. Teacher candidates in the French option will complete 62 credits.

Cohorts The following cohorts are offered in the BEd program.

Arts-Based & Creativity (ABC) – Delta or Vancouver

While becoming qualified to teach all elementary grades, K to 7, the focus of ABC, Arts-Based & Creativity, is on inquiring into education through the practices of teachers and artists. Instructional leaders in the cohort include specialists in music, art and drama. A background in visual or performing arts is not necessary, but a passion for the arts is an asset. Teacher candidates will be encouraged to develop their own philosophy of teaching in an atmosphere enriched through exposure to arts-based instruction.

Practicum placements are in Delta or Vancouver schools.

Community of Inquiry in Teacher Education (CITE) – Richmond

The CITE cohort embodies community oriented inquiry in teacher education in four ways:

  • 1. A community of learners — The CITE community is a collaboration of teacher candidates and instructors.
  • 2. School-based workshops — A number of workshops are undertaken within schools.
  • 3. District level participation — The Richmond School District embraces innovation. CITE works in partnership for various initiatives, including inquiring into the integrated use of technology.
  • 4. Recursion and growth — CITE is also a far-reaching community composed of current students and past graduates who are now teachers.

Visit the CITE website for further details

Practicum placements are in Richmond schools.

Education for Sustainability (new for 2018/19) – Burnaby, North Vancouver, Surrey or West Vancouver

The Education for Sustainability cohort will support, inform and inspire teacher candidates, and their students and mentors, to develop deeper knowledge, understanding and competencies related to education for sustainability. Core aims of the cohort also include development of an ethic of stewardship and care for people, place and planet, formation of deep connectedness to the environment and the systems that sustain us, and cultivation of healthier, thriving communities.

Grounded in ecopedagogy through inquiry, collaboration and action, the cohort is open to all teacher candidates seeking to enact the BC curriculum with a focus on place-based, experiential and community-connected approaches to learning. Cohort members will develop rich, innovative and effective teaching practices through practica, field experiences and other professional development opportunities in partnership with Lower Mainland school districts and established community partner organizations.

Practicum placements are in Burnaby, North Vancouver, Surrey or West Vancouver schools.

Elementary French Specialists – Burnaby, Coquitlam, Delta, Langley, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Richmond, Surrey, Vancouver, or West Vancouver

Learn more about French Options.

Indigenous Education – North Vancouver, Surrey or Vancouver

This Indigenous Education cohort is open to all teacher candidates who are keen to develop deeper understandings and innovative approaches that advance Indigenous education perspectives, content, and pedagogies in teaching and learning. This thematic cohort aims to prepare teacher candidates for the changing educational landscape that prioritizes Canadian Indigenous education in the curriculum, practices, and policies of schooling, and to work respectfully with parents, Indigenous community members and organizations.

Practicum placements are in North Vancouver, Surrey or Vancouver.

International Baccalaureate – Primary Years Programme (IB-PYP) – Fraser Valley (Maple Ridge) or the Lower Mainland (Delta, North Vancouver, Surrey, Vancouver or West Vancouver)

Teacher candidates selecting this cohort have an interest in an international education that is concept-based, inquiry-driven and student-centred. Guided by key concepts and transdisciplinary themes, teachers create enriching, hands-on learning opportunities that promote discovery, exploration and thinking about real-world issues.

This elementary cohort focuses on the IB Primary Years Programme in Grades 1 to 7.

Please note that there is a mandatory orientation session during the week before the program begins in September.

Learn more

Practicum placements for the elementary IB cohort may be in authorized IB World Schools in the Fraser Valley (Maple Ridge) or the Lower Mainland (Delta, North Vancouver, Surrey, Vancouver or West Vancouver).

Kindergarten — Primary Program (KIPP) – North Vancouver, Vancouver or West Vancouver

While becoming qualified to teach all elementary grades, K to 7, teacher candidates in the Kindergarten – Primary Program Cohort develop expertise in meeting the needs of learners in Kindergarten through Grade 3 (ages 4 to 9 years). Cohort instructors highlight issues in Kindergarten–Primary education course work, and teacher candidates become aware of current research regarding developmentally-appropriate practices in supporting young childrens’ learning.

Practicum placements are in North Vancouver, Vancouver or West Vancouver schools.
For those interested in becoming a Montessori educator, please see the 2018/19 UBC Introduction to Montessori Education Pathway page for details.

Montessori* – Coquitlam, Langley, New Westminster, Richmond, Surrey or Vancouver

The focus of this cohort is developing preliminary understanding about the Montessori approach to education, a child-centred approach wherein children develop cognitively and socially through direct experience within their learning environment, learning independently but with guided support from their teacher. Teacher candidates will work with children aged 6 to 12 in Montessori classrooms in public schools throughout the Lower Mainland.

Those who wish to have their BEd program recognized towards continuing Montessori professional development will register in an additional 6 credits of Montessori coursework and complete a pre-program Introduction to Montessori Foundations online course that can be completed at one’s own pace between May-August and one on-campus course at UBC in late August. These courses and the BEd practicum will be recognized as a partial laddering towards an AMS credential should the teacher candidate wish to continue their professional development by enrolling in an AMS-affiliated Montessori Teacher Education Program.

Learn more

Practicum placements are in Coquitlam, Langley, New Westminster, Richmond, Surrey or Vancouver schools.

*2017/18 is the last year of this cohort. Prospective teacher candidates interested in Montessori, please contact the TEO for further details.

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) – Delta, Langley or Surrey

Teacher candidates experience the regular Teacher Education program with a special emphasis on Social and Emotional Learning (SEL). Research demonstrates the significant role of social and emotional learning in promoting the healthy development and academic achievement of all students. SEL emphasizes active learning approaches and a teaching practice that foster positive attitudes, behaviours and thinking processes in students.

Practicum placements are in Delta, Langley or Surrey schools.

Teaching English Language Learners Through Cross-Curricular Case-Based Inquiry (TELL-3C) – Burnaby, Richmond or Vancouver

Members of the TELL-3C cohort prepare to work effectively with elementary-age learners for whom English is an additional language using an innovative educational strategy that weaves problem–solving and critical thinking into content knowledge through the use of real world problems and situations.

UBC instructors use case study methods to expertly guide teacher candidates to develop inquiries into pedagogy, curriculum, learning, and the profession of teaching. Additional emphases include ways to use multilingual, multimodal, and multicultural ways of meaning-making that learners bring to the classroom; working as a school resource for English language learners; teacher collaboration; and advocacy work for this population.

Practicum placements are in Burnaby, Richmond or Vancouver schools.

Cohorts are subject to change before the start of the academic year.

Middle Years

This cohort emphasizes teaching students in Grades 6 to 8 (ages 11 to 14 years).

Self Regulated Learning (SRL) in the Middle Years

The middle years school setting celebrates adolescents’ talents and supports their learning during important transitional years. This context enables students to gradually prepare for the demands of the secondary school while recognizing their unique developmental needs.

Teacher candidates also learn how to promote self-regulated learning by involving students in making choices, controlling challenge, evaluating learning, and collaborating with peers. The SRL model occurs in the context of professional workshops, practicum placements, and the inquiry seminars. Teacher candidates are also encouraged to make connections to SRL in their curriculum courses.

Middle Years practicum placements are in Chilliwack, Coquitlam, Langley or New Westminster schools.



The Explorations program is another unique aspect of middle schools. For part of every day, students attend Explorations classes taught by teachers in subject areas such as: art, drama, physical education, music, home economics, technology education, and other areas. As a middle school teacher, you have the opportunity to teach in one of the Explorations areas.

Learning Teams in Middle Schools

Middle schools are usually organized into teams of three to five classes of students. Each teacher belongs to a teaching team responsible for planning and supporting the entire program for the team’s 90–150 students. It is like a “school within a school”. As the year progresses, you get to know and work with all the students on your team, including the students in your homeroom class. Through collaboration with other teachers, the team draws on the individual strengths and backgrounds of its teachers to plan and deliver an exciting educational program for the students that includes the core curriculum, advisory, explorations, and exciting team activities.

Applying to Middle Years

Middle Years is a cohort within the Elementary & Middle Years option. Applicants interested in the Middle Years cohort should select the Elementary & Middle Years option on the application form. Admission eligibility for the Middle Years cohort is assessed according to the Elementary & Middle Years option academic and experience requirements. If admitted to the Elementary & Middle Years option, students will select their cohort of interest at registration. Admission to the Middle Years cohort will depend on seat availability.

Teacher candidates commit to an intensive 11-month program from September to July. There are no extended holiday breaks scheduled. Vacations, weddings and other personal events must not conflict with classes or practicum.