Exciting changes for the Bachelor of Education program
Earlier this year, the provincial government made changes to the Bachelor of Education degrees offered in Ontario. The expectations for this enhanced program for initial teacher preparation are set out in Regulation 347/02. The changes include an increased emphasis on curriculum knowledge, pedagogical and instructional strategies knowledge, as well as teaching context knowledge. Also, all programs must be four academic semesters in length and have a minimum of 80 supervised practicum days.
As a result, Tyndale’s Bachelor of Education program (BEd) has been modified, though the program content will change very little. “Many of the now required components were already included in Tyndale’s program,” said Dr. Carla Nelson, Director of the Bachelor of Education Program & Associate Professor of Education. Many of the recent changes have been recommended by the Ontario College of Teachers since 2006, when the Tyndale BEd program was being designed. Modifications include changing the model from a 12-month (three semester) model to a 16-month (four semester) model and reorganizing program components from the current 54 credit hour format to 60 credit hours.
Tyndale will continue to offer more practicum days than is required, offering 112 days rather than the minimum of 80. Other strengths carried from the previous format are Karen Hume’s model of Differentiated Instruction (2008), a required foundational course on Christian perspectives on education and an amazingly gifted and experienced team of faculty, instructors and faculty advisors. Karen Hume’s model is part of the program’s conceptual framework and it acknowledges that the beliefs teachers hold influence the teaching and learning dynamic.
Other additions to the BEd program are Bachelor of Education Program Elder Terry LeBlanc’s involvement and the reorganization of Colloquia seminars into a course on Educational Technology. Dr. Terry LeBlanc will instruct teacher candidates about Aboriginal histories, cultures, contributions and perspectives. He will help them learn about their responsibility to ensure that students who identify as members of First Nation, Metis and Inuit communities see their cultures, histories and perspectives reflected in the curriculum, pedagogy, school and community. With the course on Educational Technology, teacher candidates will continue to be prepared to use a variety of assistive technology software programs and devices such as interactive white boards and platforms such as Google Apps for Ed and Microsoft 365.