New Bachelor of Education program officially launched
Offers students greater flexibility; more cross-stream courses
The Faculty of Education’s new, more flexible Bachelor of Education program was officially launched on Sept. 14 with a meeting for faculty members and sessional instructors.
About 40 people gathered to hear David Mandzuk, dean of the faculty, and Melanie Janzen, associate dean of undergraduate programs, discuss both the advantages and challenges of introducing the new program.
“Today marks a fresh start, a new year, new students and many new opportunities to do things differently,” noted Mandzuk in his introduction.
“Today’s launch also marks yet another milestone in the Faculty’s history. The last time a new B. Ed. was launched was back in the late 1990s.”
The new program, said Mandzuk, will run concurrently with the old B.Ed. program this year, meaning Year 1s will be studying under the new program while Year 2s will continue with the old program.
This will pose challenges, he noted. “We can undoubtedly expect some ‘road bumps’—when those happen, work with us to find a way forward,” he encouraged faculty and instructors.
Mandzuk acknowledged the hard work and dedication of many of the faculty members and support staff behind the scenes in order to plan new courses, “often in new and innovative ways.” He also noted that the faculty has received great support from its educational partners during the changeover.
The dean added that in 2006, the faculty approved in principle the Association of Canadian Deans of Education Accord on Initial Teacher Education and that the principles the faculty committed to are still relevant today in this new program, including: assisting in the development of teacher candidates’ professional identities and teacher agency and helping them to develop an awareness of their professional responsibilities in a changing world.
“Thank you for remaining committed to these principles.”
New program details
Janzen outlined some of the details of the new B.Ed. program—including greater program flexibility, emphasis on teaching to diversity, broader preparation for the K-12 experience, more variety in practicum experiences, more responsiveness to students and more elective space.
Launching the new program is exciting because it provides faculty the chance to do some reinvention, she said, especially in elective courses.
“We should be thinking about what types of electives we want to create.”
And a change to the practicums (each practicum is now a standalone, three-credit hour course) means that those who need to take a leave for medical reasons, for example, do not lose their practicum credit for the practicum they completed in a particular term.
Janzen says the new B.Ed. program also allows the faculty to work more closely with the schools involved in practicums.
“I’m always excited by change—I think it’s very energizing.”
B.Ed. classes officially began on Sept. 15.