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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Education
September 26, 2016
Canadian Excellence

Photo Gallery

Faculty of Education

PDS Partners

Feb 19/09

Wilfrid Laurier's program is unique in that it is based on a Professional Development School (PDS) Model. We have partnered with four area school boards to provide extensive, in-depth, and sustained field experiences for our candidates. Teacher Education Candidates (TECs) spend two days per week throughout the year in host schools, in addition to scheduled block practica.

Being situated in the same school for the entire year affords the TECs the opportunity to establish close, personal, interactive professional relationships with school personnel and communities. Initially the TECs spend much time observing different teaching techniques, classroom management strategies, and school procedures. They begin working with individual students, then small groups, before taking responsibility for the entire class. During their field placements, they have the opportunity to work with their associate teachers and with other specialists available within the school:  special education, ESL, behavioural support, music, physical education, art, etc. They may also work with the principal on selected special projects, such as planning character education assemblies for the school. Within their full-time practica they move from teaching 25% of the time in the first placement to 100% of the time in their final placement. They acquire and refine the skills of teaching, learn first-hand from practicing professionals what it means to be a classroom teacher, contribute to school improvement, and partner with the school staff in seeking to improve student achievement. Importantly, they regularly link the theory from their University classes to what they experience in the schools.


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