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Three years in the making: SFU’s PDP welcomes EDUC 400

October 22, 2017

SFU’s Faculty of Education has been given the green light to enhance its Professional Development Program (PDP). Established in 1965, the PDP is SFU’s long-standing teacher education program.

The British Columbia Teachers’ Council (BCTC) officially approved the updated program, which includes a fourth semester, earlier this month, having previously been approved by the SFU Senate.

Dr. Paul Neufeld, Director of Professional Programs says that the BCTC’s approval has brought a sense of excitement to the team.  

“This is the culmination of a process that began back in 2014 and we are excited to see it come to life next fall.”

The changes to the program emerged from a series of discussions with Faculty, as well as feedback from the field.

“We got a clear sense that while the PDP has many strengths and continues to produce excellent teachers, we were trying to do too much in three-semesters. Our initial semester was simply overflowing.”

The result was a plan to make the already successful and well-established program even stronger.

How will the PDP change as a result of the BCTC approval?

Starting September 2018, the PDP will be introducing a new semester called EDUC 400: Foundations of Education and Schooling.

The new introductory semester is designed to retain the many strengths of the PDP while creating space to provide student teachers with an even stronger foundation on which to build their careers.

“With its foundational orientation, EDUC 400 will situate the work of teachers and teaching on a broad scholarly foundation exploring, among other things, the socio-political and epistemological bases of education, and the historical and current contexts of diversity in Canadian schools," says Neufeld.

While the program will now take 16-months to complete, Neufeld insists that it will better prepare student teachers to continue their professional development through inquiry and critical reflection across their careers.

“The overarching goal of the PDP is to prepare outstanding new teachers who are capable of, and committed to, serving well the students and communities with whom they work, and who are committed to and capable of engaging in their own ongoing professional learning and development. We want to be sure we allow the time required for our students to become such teachers.”

Applications for the PDP’s September 2018 intake are open from now until January 31, 2018.

Information Sessions are also being held at SFU’s Burnaby and Surrey campuses. Register online at