Elementary & Middle Years
11-month Teacher Education Program

Teacher candidates learn to teach all subject areas in the elementary curriculum: Kindergarten to Grade 7. 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. The Middle Years cohort emphasizes teaching students in Grades 6 to 8 (ages 11 to 14 years).

Note: additional courses and/or credits are required for teacher candidates enrolled in the French and International Baccalaureate cohorts. Cohorts are subject to change before the start of the academic year.


Teacher 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 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.

Arts-Based & Creativity (ABC)

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 Vancouver schools.

Community of Inquiry in Teacher Education (CITE)

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

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

Learn more about CITE!

Visit the CITE website for more details about this cohort: cite.cste.educ.ubc.ca

Practicum placements are in Richmond schools.

Education for Sustainability

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.

Teacher candidates will be required to participate in place-based learning activities off campus.

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

French Specialization

This cohort is designed for teacher candidates who wish to specialize in teaching French as a second language (French immersion and intensive French) or French as a first language (in a Francophone school) at the elementary level. Most courses are delivered and assignments are completed in French. This allows teacher candidates to continue to develop their proficiency while in the program.

Learn more about the French Teacher Education Program here

Practicum placements are in Burnaby, Coquitlam, Delta, Langley, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Richmond, Surrey, Vancouver, or West Vancouver.

Indigenous Education

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 Delta, Surrey or Vancouver.

International Baccalaureate (IB-PYP)

Teacher candidates selecting the Primary Years Programme (IB-PYP) cohort have an interest in international education that is student-centred and inquiry-driven for students in Kindergarten through Grade 7. Guided by the key tenets of the program such as the Approaches to Teaching and Learning, the Learner Profile, the Key Concepts, and the Transdisciplinary Themes, teachers create enriching, hands-on learning opportunities that promote discovery, exploration and critical thinking about real-world issues.

Please note that there is a mandatory August orientation session during the week before the program begins. More information to follow.

Practicum placements are in the Delta, Maple Ridge, North Vancouver, Surrey, Vancouver or West Vancouver school districts or independent schools.

Middle Years/Self-Regulated Learning (MY/SRL)

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

Teacher candidates also learn how to promote self-regulated learning (SRL) by establishing SRL supportive structures (e.g., in tasks, classroom routines, and visual displays), involving students in making decisions about learning, and creating a community for learning, such that students feel safe and supported to engage deeply in learning. Support for developing SRL promoting practices occurs in the context of professional workshops, practicum placements, coursework and the inquiry seminars.

In addition to practicum visits, teacher candidates in this cohort will spend one day in Coquitlam school district each week for coursework and insitu learning in terms 1 and 2. For this, travel to and within Coquitlam will be required.

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

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.


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.

Outdoor Learning (OL)

The Outdoor Learning (OL) cohort invites teacher candidates wishing to explore, develop, and deepen curricular, pedagogical and land/place-based approaches to teaching and learning in elementary contexts. OL benefits of health and wellbeing, pro-environmental beliefs and practices informed by deep ecology, and experiential learning will be investigated. Key cohort sub-themes include Indigenous ways, non-Western knowledge systems, risky play, STEM education, systems thinking, and HOPE, realized through Health, Outdoor, Physical Education.

Cohort members will have opportunities to work with and visit outdoor learning programs in both formal school contexts and in non-formal community-based contexts throughout the Lower Mainland.

In addition to practicum visits, teacher candidates in this cohort will spend one day a week at Pinewood Elementary in the Delta school district for coursework and in situ learning.

Practicum placements are in Delta or Surrey.

Primary Years (Kindergarten to Grade 3)

While becoming qualified to teach all elementary grades, K to 7, teacher candidates in the Primary Years cohort develop expertise in meeting the needs of learners in Kindergarten through Grade 3 (ages 4 to 9 years). Cohort instructors highlight issues in primary years education course work, as teacher candidates learn to create rich, joyful spaces where children, adults, ideas, and materials come together, and where knowledge is constructed about learning and living in ways that are local, inclusive, ethical, and democratic.

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

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)

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 Langley or Surrey schools.

Teaching English Language Learners through Cross-Curricular Case-Based Inquiry (TELL-3C)

Members of the TELL-3C cohort get a unique case-based experience as they prepare to teach in diverse K-7 classrooms that include students learning English as an additional language. Instructors for this cohort work as a team to teach through guided inquiry, supporting teacher candidates to:

  • unpack real-world educational scenarios collaboratively in small groups,
  • develop inquiries into issues they see,
  • explore these issues through multiple perspectives to connect theory and practice, and
  • ultimately develop the knowledge and dispositions needed to enact the BC curriculum in ways that are inclusive and equitable for all learners.

TELL-3C cohort members develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills for teaching across the curriculum with explicit commitment to equity, antiracism, and social justice. Case-based inquiry topics include strategies for honoring and expanding multilingual, multimodal, and multicultural ways of meaning-making across the curriculum, such as place-based learning, digital storytelling, and community engagement. TELL-3C also aims to prepare teacher candidates to locate school resources and support for multilingual learners, and to engage in advocacy work for this population.

Practicum placements are in Burnaby, Coquitlam, Richmond or Vancouver schools.

  • 60 credits of coursework
  • 62-64 credits of coursework (French cohort)