Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning (CEWIL) is funding a pilot project within Tyndale’s Bachelor of Education (BEd) program in the amount of $33,000. The pilot project—called Social-Emotional Learning Priority - Practice Teaching Pilot—will take place from January to May and will allow 14 teacher candidates to participate in a unique initiative that emphasizes the social-emotional well-being of themselves and the learners in their placement schools.
Dr. Heather Birch, Director of the Bachelor of Education program, is facilitating the pilot project alongside Blair Pike, Practicum Team Lead. They will guide the teacher candidates through 13 milestones that range from participating in wellness coaching to working with artificial intelligence software that simulates a classroom setting and allows for developing skills needed to help children manage their emotions. By prioritizing social-emotional learning (SEL), teacher candidates will develop habits and skills they can use throughout their careers to help themselves and empower their students to be excellent learners.
“We know that student wellness and achievement go hand in hand,” says Dr. Birch. “Children need to be socially and emotionally aware to maximize learning. So, we believe when our teacher candidates go into schools equipped with good self-awareness of their social and emotional state, this will help the children to be attentive to the same things.”
One of the last milestones will require the 14 teacher candidates to make a presentation to their cohort, detailing their personal SEL practices and key lessons they learned through the pilot project. The presentation will provide a learning opportunity for those who weren’t part of the pilot. In addition, this funding will allow the teacher candidates to engage in ongoing professional learning with experts in the field of trauma-informed pedagogy. This learning supports Tyndale students’ growth and development of social-emotional intelligence.
“The goal is to make SEL an integral part of the BEd program,” says Dr. Birch.
“We hope to show that Tyndale has a commitment to wellness and social and emotional intelligence.”
— Dr. Heather Birch
The CEWIL funding has also allowed the Tyndale library to purchase a new set of SEL resources that can be used with children from kindergarten to grade 10. Over 200 new books have been added to the library, further enforcing the BEd program’s dedication to SEL.