Elementary & Middle Years
11-month Teacher Education Program

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.


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

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.

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.


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 Delta or 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.


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 Specialists

Learn more

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 North Vancouver, 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 concept-based, inquiry-driven and student-centred for students in Kindergarten through Grade 7. Guided by key concepts and transdisciplinary themes, teachers create enriching, hands-on learning opportunities that promote discovery, exploration and thinking about real-world issues.

Please note that there is a mandatory August orientation session during the week before the program begins. This year the orientation is on Monday, August 26 (in addition to the full-day orientation on August 29). More information to follow.

Practicum placements are in the Fraser Valley (Maple Ridge) or Lower Mainland (Delta, North Vancouver, Surrey, Vancouver or West Vancouver).

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, 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.

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 Delta, Langley or Surrey schools.

Teaching English Language Learners Through Cross-Curricular Inquiry (TELL-3C)

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.

Middle Years

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

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.

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.

In addition to practicum visits, teacher candidates 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 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.