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BC Teachers Education Program Approval Standards

The British Columbia Teachers’ Council (BCTC) met at the end of November 2020 to review five Teacher Education Program (TEP) Approval Standards. The BCTC Standards Committee includes all of the educational partners and BCCPAC was represented by our CEO John Gaiptman and details of the meeting are captured here so members can be more aware of the TEP and the BCTC.

The first standard examined the course work and field experience that prepares graduates to meet the professional standards and certification standards set by the BCTC. Some of the indicators for the first standard include:

  1. Programs ensure that all matters related to design development and delivery remain congruent with BC legislation.
  2. Programs have a coherent philosophy and rationale based on authoritative and evidence-based understanding of how the program will develop effective teachers.
  3. Programs combine course work and field experience that include human development and learning; theories and practices of teaching and learning; clear expectations for intellectual rigor, performance and behavior; provide critical examination of systematic barriers; provide for inquiry and dialogue regarding ethics, standards, and practices of the teaching profession; and address the diverse philosophical, ethical, spiritual nature of society.

The second standard looked at defining methods for selection and admission that emphasize academic standing, appropriate relationships with young people, and suitability.

Some of the indicators for the second standard include:

  1. Selection criteria to promote diversity of candidates.
  2. Programs to ensure teacher candidates are knowledgeable about the program assessment system.
  3. Programs ensure all teacher candidates have been vetted through Criminal Record Checks.

The Criminal Record Checks, although not new, did lead into a debate regarding candidates who have been arrested for protesting social matters. There was also a debate as to economic barriers that may discourage a diversity of candidates.

The third standard dealt with content, pedagogy, and professional dispositions. Some of the indicators for the third standard include:

  1. Understanding the curriculum.
  2. Use of technologies.
  3. Necessary pedagogical knowledge to design and implement learning experiences.
  4. Assessment practices.
  5. Programs ensure that teacher candidates are knowledgeable about how children develop as learners and social beings.
  6. Programs ensure teacher candidates can recognize differences in cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical areas and implement appropriate learning experiences.
  7. Teacher candidates are able to identify themselves as life-long learners.
  8. Programs ensure teacher candidates respect the importance of cultural identity and understand their roles in addressing Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action demonstrated by completing by three credits of study related to Indigenous pedagogy
  9. Teacher candidates recognize the importance of individual differences by completing at least three credits of study related to sexual orientation, gender identity, and supporting students with disabilities or diverse abilities.

There was a lengthy discussion as to whether any one course could incorporate the knowledge that teachers need to support each student within the class who has a disability or diverse ability.

The fourth standard dealt with a teacher education program and its field experience partners ensuring high quality field experiences. Some of the indicators for the fourth standard include:

  1. Understanding relevant laws and policies e.g. anti-bullying policies.
  2. Knowing when and how to assess resources e.g. specialist teachers and related service providers to address the needs of an individual student.
  3. Provide a minimum of a sixteen-week practicum.

There was agreement that expanding the field experience/practicum would be a benefit.

The fifth standard examined quality assurance and institutional commitment. Some of the indicators for the fifth standard include:

  1. Programs need to have the leadership, authority, budget, resources, personnel, and technology to meet the BCTC Teacher Education Program Standards and Indicators.
  2. Programs need to demonstrate an effort to recruit and retain faculty from diverse backgrounds.
  3. Programs need to demonstrate an overall effort to address local, regional, and provincial needs for hard–to-staff schools and areas of teacher shortage.

There was general agreement that the indicators were necessary and appropriate.

Parents and guardians across the province have a vested interest in the effectiveness of teacher education programs. If you would like to ensure that the BCTC hears your comments or concerns, please email BCCPAC directly and we will bring them forward at the next meeting.