Professional Development Program

Method of delivery:
In-person
Applications open:
October 1, 2022

Early Application Deadline:
November 30, 2022

Applications close:
January 31, 2023

Next start date:
September 2023

Your K-12 teaching career starts here. Get certified to teach in B.C. schools, and further afield, through one of the oldest and most successful teaching programs in B.C. (20,0000 new teachers and counting). Explore teaching theory, develop effective teaching skills and equip yourself to develop a long-lasting, rewarding teaching career.

Program Overview

Designed For

We designed the PDP for aspiring elementary and secondary school teachers in British Columbia. Graduates qualify for a B.C. Ministry of Education teaching certificate that enables you to teach K-12 in B.C. schools—and in many other countries around the world. PDP students can complete a Bachelor of Education (BEd) as a second degree without adding extra time or cost to the program.

Program Structure

  • 4 semester, 16 month program
  • In-person classes
  • Field experiences
  • Teaching practicum

Intake Schedule

The Professional Development Program accepts applications on an annual basis.

Next Start Terms

  • Fall 2022
  • Fall 2023

Program Design & Courses

Program Design

Over 16 months, students uncover their motives for teaching, explore teaching theory and practices, and learn how to use critical inquiry and reflection as tools for ongoing professional development and lifelong learning.

As well as creating the cohort structure to help aspiring elementary and secondary school teachers develop strong relational practices and build their professional community, we designed the Professional Development Program around 10 clear goals.

Program Goals

Goal 1: The development of a clear, coherent and justified view of education that:

  • Demonstrates understanding of the place of education as contributing to the creation of an open, pluralistic and caring society;
  • Articulates the content, methods and institutional arrangements that are relevant, worthwhile and appropriate for the education of children;
  • Speaks to a personal vision of what one can achieve as an educator;
  • Continually and consciously reshapes through experiences with a variety of learners in a range of socio-cultural contexts;
  • Is informed by understanding of the historical and contemporary legacies of imperialism and colonization on the education system of British Columbia;
  • Realizes the powerful, and sometimes negative, impact that our Eurocentric education system has had, and continues to have, upon students.

Goal 2: The development of a clear commitment to lifelong and lifewide learning that:

  • Manifests in openness to considering alternatives and possibilities;
  • Is rooted in the development of reflective capacities;
  • Engages in the wide range of subject-based practices that inform the practice of teaching;
  • Is demonstrated in the ability to form and reform ideas, methods, techniques;
  • Upholds standards of excellence inherent in various forms of inquiry;
  • Sets an example for students and stimulates them to be continuous learners.

Goal 3: The development of a clear commitment to uphold the principles that should govern a democratic and pluralistic community that:

  • Is sensitive to the position of privilege, power, and trust in which teachers are placed;
  • Recognizes that teachers are role models who are rational, reliable, responsible and responsive;
  • Demonstrates thoughtful and self-initiating behaviour that is reflective, positive in outlook, genuine, non-defensive and non-judgmental.

Goal 4: The development of a clear commitment to maintain ethical and functional working relationships with all members of the educational community that:

  • Is open and responsive to feedback and constructive criticism;
  • Is demonstrated through significant, on-going dialogue and collaboration with colleagues, students, parents and others in the educational community;
  • Show care and respect for every student;
  • Is authentic, transparent and honest;
  • Communicates openness to other worldviews, belief systems and points of view;
  • Reflects humility and consideration for others;
  • Results in an increasing level of personal resilience.

Goal 5: The development of knowledge about curricular content, educational theory and effective practice that:

  • Demonstrates the ability to communicate effectively in English or French;
  • Demonstrates the ability to understand and work with subject-specific content seen through Canadian, Indigenous and global lenses;
  • Sees opportunities for cross-curricular and cross-cultural connections;
  • Is cognizant of how individuals and groups of students learn;
  • Demonstrates the understanding and ability to create purposeful, contextually-relevant lesson and unit plans;
  • Is aware of current, and varied, evaluation and assessment practices;
  • Is rooted in a strong sense of what is best for particular students in particular situations.

Goal 6: The development of the clear commitment to respect and celebrate students that:

  • Demonstrates respect and dignity for students as persons with varied interests, needs, backgrounds, points of view, plans, goals and aspirations;
  • Demonstrates care for students and their individual development;
  • Celebrates the diversity in our classrooms, schools and communities;
  • Demonstrates the understanding of how Indigenous epistemologies and pedagogies create opportunities to meet the needs of all learners and students of Indigenous ancestry;
  • Demonstrates the ability to observe, understand and respond respectfully to all students: including students with special educational needs and students for whom English or French is an additional language.

Goal 7: The development of the ability to create a caring, cohesive community of learners that:

  • Places students at the centre of decision-making;
  • Communicates openness;
  • Demonstrates tolerance for uncertainty;
  • Celebrates and appreciates the spirit of inquiry;
  • Demonstrates the ability to be a thoughtful and sensitive observer of what goes on in the classroom.

Goal 8: The development of the ability to create opportunities for learning that:

  • Accesses and engagees students' ability to think and learn through their minds, bodies, and hearts;
  • Are significant, relevant and matched to students’ intellectual, physical, social, emotional, aesthetic and vocational development;
  • Are responsive to students’ individual learning needs;
  • Are consistent with the B.C. Curriculum;
  • Utilizes relevant learning resources and technologies;
  • Are conducive to the development of critical thought processes;
  • Are sensitive to issues of social equity and cultural diversity;
  • Incorporates assessment as foundational in planning.

Goal 9: The development of the ability to blend theory and practice in well-organized ways that:

  • Relies on the ability to critically examine one’s own practices and experiences;
  • Includes the ability to recreate, re-invent, re-constitute or discard practices that have been tried and found to be ineffective to individual and/or group learning needs;
  • Encourages interpersonally sound working relationships among students;
  • Motivates students to take ownership of their learning;
  • Cultivates a disposition towards inquiry in the classroom.

Goal 10: The development of ability to use assessment and evaluation practices in a thoughtful and ethical manner that:

  • Makes use of varied practices of assessment that are congruent with learning goals;
  • Respects the dignity of each learner;
  • Acknowledges the personal, relational, social and cultural perspectives that frame evaluative commentary on student growth and development;
  • Demonstrates the understanding that assessment, in its many guises, is foundational to effective and powerful learning.

Schedule & Courses

PDP has four, full-time semesters that combine professional coursework, multiple field experiences and a teaching practicum.

SEMESTER 1: EDUC 400 - Foundations of Education & Schooling (15 units)

Start your learning journey by exploring the historical, philosophical, social and cultural foundations of education and schooling. Join a Professional Learning Community (PLC) to focus on the development of professional orientations and identities that recognize the expectations and responsibilities of practicing teachers. You also start your inquiry into First Nations Pedagogy and Issues and Special Needs Education as an important basis for EDUC 401/402, and the remainder of the program.

SEMESTER 2: EDUC 401/402 - Integration of Theory & Practice (15 units)

During the second semester of the PDP (January - April), you will continue your transition from student to teacher by joining a module — a small group of student teachers who work with dedicated teacher educators to explore Education through a particular lens. In your module,you will participate in seminars and workshops that promote critical inquiry and reflection. As you become more familiar with theories and research related to teaching and learning, you will also gain more hands-on experience working in schools and educational communities.

SEMESTER 3: EDUC 404 - Professional Coursework (15 units)

Take four to six professional courses related to teaching methods and practices. A minimum of 15 upper division EDUC units is required. With careful course and minor selection, you can also complete a Bachelor of Education (BEd) as a second degree without adding any extra time or cost to the program.

SEMESTER 4: EDUC 405 - Teaching Practicum (15 units)

Complete a full-time, supervised teaching practicum at a B.C. school over 13 weeks. We use your performance in the classroom during your practicum to help us assess your personal progress and professional readiness for certification with the Teacher Certification Branch of the B.C. Ministry of Education.

The PDP Learning and Teaching Communities and Modules

Teaching is all about building relationships. Throughout the PDP, you will work with small groups of other student teachers in a Professional Learning Community (PLC) and a module. It’s an invaluable opportunity to establish and build close working relationships with your peers, teacher educators and practicing K-12 teachers.

Professional Learning Community (PLC)

In your first semester, you join a PLC in Surrey or Burnaby. As part of a small group of student teachers, you will work closely with instructors to explore foundational themes, begin your guided inquiry, and take part in hands-on learning experiences in educational communities.

Placement in a specific PLC is not guaranteed. An internal (Faculty of Education) decision may result in your PLC changing prior to the start of the semester. If a change occurs, you will be notified.

Note: Student teachers admitted to the French and International Teacher Education Module (ITEM) will have separate PLCs.

Modules

In your second semester, we will place you in a module, which is a small group of student teachers who work with dedicated teacher educators to focus on the integration of teaching theory and practice. Each module has a different theme (see below). All address the core matters of diversity, equity, Indigeneity, literacy, numeracy, ecology, technology, artistry and creativity, and health and physical activity. School experiences and practicums take place throughout the Lower Mainland and the Fraser Valley.

There are three 'specialty' modules: French, International Teacher Education Module (ITEM) or Indigenous Perspectives on Teacher Education Module (IPTEM). If you are interested in participating in a specialty module, you will declare this as part of your PDP application which will also require a letter of intent.

We cannot guarantee placement in a specific PLC or module, but we make every effort to honour students’ survey requests. For more information, see the Cohort and Placement FAQs below and the Admissions guidelines.

Specialty Modules

FRENCH

Prepare to teach Core French, French Immersion or Francophone Program at the elementary or secondary level in B.C. Nurture a strong connection with Francophone communities.
Grades: K-12
Based: SFU Burnaby Campus / École Anne-Hébert (Community-based module)
School Experiences/Practica: Throughout the Lower Mainland
Additional Requirements: French Language Proficiency Requirement (DELF-DALF)
Options: Dual Program with Université de Tours (France)

Learn more

 

INTERNATIONAL TEACHER EDUCATION MODULE (ITEM)

ITEM focuses on the internationalization of education and encourages student teachers to develop global perspectives. Examine issues and challenges students and teachers face in B.C. schools where diversity, global education, English-as-an-additional-language and intercultural communication have become critical and integral components of the curriculum and classroom life.
Grades: K-12
Based: SFU Burnaby Campus
School Experiences/Practica: Dharamsala, India or Oaxaca, Mexico
Additional Cost: $5000+ (subject to change)
Additional Requirements: letter of intent

Learn more

 

INDIGENOUS PERSPECTIVE ON TEACHER EDUCATION MODULE (IPTEM)

Explore Indigenous perspectives on teacher education. Focus on Indigenizing curriculum, through the inclusion of Indigenous worldviews, knowledge and perspectives and increased awareness of colonizing behaviours and patterns. Consider the role that educators—both Indigenous and non-Indigenous—play in decolonizing education and improving cross-cultural understandings.
Grades: K-12
Based: SFU Burnaby Campus
School Experiences/Practica: throughout the Lower Mainland
Additional Requirements: letter of intent

Learn more

 

General Modules

BURNABY COMMUNITY

Explore the role of the community in the education of children and youth. The school district and community experts help guide your professional development.
Grades: K-7
Based:
 Burnaby School
School Experiences/Practica: Burnaby (SD41) and neighbouring districts

Creative collaborative communities (C3)

Explore and experience the teaching profession's creative, collaborative, and community-building aspects. 
Grades: K-12
Based: SFU Burnaby Campus
School Experiences/Practica: Burnaby (SD41) and neighbouring districts

FINE & PERFORMING ARTS

Extend your background in the arts to schooling contexts through an arts-based curriculum and arts integration.
Grades: K-12
Based: SFU Surrey Campus
School Experiences/Practica: throughout the Lower Mainland
Note:
Secondary student teachers with majors/minors in music, art, theatre/drama and/or dance are placed in this module. Others interested in fine and performing arts may be placed in this module, space permitting.

IMAGINATIVE EDUCATION

Explore how to use the theory and tools of Imaginative Education to frame content, make decisions about planning and implementation, and help students engage with content in their world. A focus on imaginative practices in pedagogy is highlighted. Learn more about Imaginative Education.
Grades: K-12
Based: SFU Burnaby Campus
School Experiences/Practica: throughout the Lower Mainland

LANGLEY COMMUNITY

Explore teaching through the lens of the role of community in the education of children and youth. The school district and community experts help guide your professional development.
Grades: K-12
Based: Gordon Greenwood Elementary School
School Experiences/Practica: Langley (SD35) and neighbouring districts

LIFEWORK

Explore the concepts of social justice and social responsibility, including human and children’s rights, anti-oppression and anti-racist education, and equity studies. 
Grades: K-12
Based: SFU Burnaby Campus
School Experiences/Practica: throughout the Lower Mainland

Literacy in the Urban Classroom (LUC)

Develop engaging, compelling, culturally responsive ways of teaching to help students think, write, read and talk about content across the K–7 curriculum. This module is designed to support the development of culturally responsive ways of teaching with a focus on multiliteracies and what it means to be literate in today’s society, while also focusing on the urban context and ways to support culturally and linguistically diverse groups of K–7 learners, their families and their communities. 
Grades: K-7
Based: SFU Surrey Campus
School Experiences/Practica: Surrey (SD36) and neighbouring districts

PLAYWORKS

Explore play, movement, physicality, and physical activity. Learn how to infuse a greater awareness of physical vitality and knowledge of physical literacy into your teaching. tudent teachers develop a deeper understanding of how to infuse a greater awareness of physical vitality and knowledge of physical literacy into their teaching practices.
Grades: K-12
Based: SFU Burnaby Campus
School Experiences/Practica: throughout the Lower Mainland
Note:
Secondary student teachers who hold a major or minor in PE in addition to another teachable subject will be placed in this module. Others with a keen interest in physical literacy may be placed in this module, space permitting.

Social Ecology, Environmental Diversity (SEEDS)

Explore sustainability education in a diverse environment. SEEDs are based on environment studies and focuses on environmental ethics and social justice. Involvement with local environmental interests and community organizations will help you recognize the importance of making an impact in your community as an educational leader. Student teachers in this module may complete the Environmental Education minor. An option to study in Haida Gwaii in the Summer semester may also be available.
Grades: K-12
Based: SFU Surrey Campus
School Experiences/Practica: throughout the Lower Mainland

Secondary

In this module, student teachers will focus their learning on ways to develop pedagogical approaches in their specialized subject areas, always remaining cognizant that we "teach kids, not curriculum.” Developing an informed understanding of adolescent learners' diverse needs and developmental stages provides the backdrop for this module. Student teachers will study the education theory, design, and practice for secondary students.
Grades: 8-12
Based: LA Matheson Secondary
School Experiences/Practica: Surrey (SD36) and neighbouring districts

School Experience and Practicum Placements

Participation in a specific module does not guarantee placement at a particular school or district. During the EDUC 401/402 and EDUC 405 semesters, your school and practicum placements will be determined by a wide variety of factors, including teachable subject area, transportation options, school availability, and more. Placements take place throughout the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley. While every effort is made to place you in schools within a reasonable distance from your home, you should be prepared to travel up to 90 km (approximately one hour by car and longer if by transit) to your school placement. 

The Placement Office arranges all practicum placements. You will not be placed in schools where there may be a conflict of interest such as previous volunteer work or where a family member works or attends. Upon admission, you will complete a survey to indicate your grade level preference, means of transportation and any schools with which you have a prior relationship.

Placement in a specific module is not guaranteed. An internal (Faculty of Education) decision may result in your module placement changing prior to the start of the semester. If a change occurs, you will be notified.

Participation in a specific module does not affect your employability at the end of the program. Regardless of which module you participate in, if you successfully complete the PDP, you will be recommended to the Teacher Certification Branch of the B.C. Ministry of Education for a teaching certificate.

Locations

At SFU, campus life is rich with opportunities to engage with people, ideas and activities that contribute to personal development and a better world.

Burnaby

Perched atop Burnaby Mountain, Simon Fraser University's original Arthur Erickson-designed campus includes more than three dozen academic buildings and a flourishing sustainable residential community.

Simon Fraser University respectfully acknowledges the unceded traditional territories of the Coast Salish peoples, including the səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), kʷikʷəƛ̓əm (Kwikwetlem), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations, on which SFU Burnaby is located.

Surrey

Our Surrey campus is a vibrant community hub in the heart of one of Canada’s fastest-growing cities. With easy access to transit, the modern campus is conveniently situated between Metro Vancouver and communities south of the Fraser River.

Simon Fraser University respectfully acknowledges the unceded traditional territories, including the Semiahmoo, Katzie, kʷikʷəƛ̓əm (Kwikwetlem), Kwantlen, Qayqayt and Tsawwassen Nations, on which SFU Surrey is located.

SCHOOL PLACEMENTS

Students teachers will be provided with a multitude of learning experiences in on-campus classroom, school, and community environments.

Instructional Team

Like our other teacher education programs, the PDP uses a unique staffing model that teams SFU's world-class researchers (faculty members) with highly-skilled seconded teachers (faculty associates) and practicing K-12 teachers (school associates) as teacher educators. Meet our Faculty Associates.

Future Pathways

Where this program can take you: The Professional Development Program (PDP) can launch your teaching career in British Columbia or elsewhere—even abroad. With careful course and minor selection, you can also complete a Bachelor of Education (BEd) as a second degree.

Teaching Certificate

Graduates qualify for a B.C. Ministry of Education teaching certificate that enables you to teach K-12 in B.C. schools, and in many other countries around the world.

BACHELOR OF EDUCATION AS A SECOND DEGREE (OPTIONAL)

The BEd is an internationally-recognized credential and a great option for student teachers who are considering teaching overseas. Completion of the BEd second degree is strictly optional and does not add extra time or cost to the program. It also does not affect your B.C. teaching certificate recommendation.

To complete the BEd second degree, you must have a Bachelor's degree completed prior to starting the PDP from an approved institution and meet SFU's literacy and quantitative requirements.

You must also: 

  • Take a minimum 15 upper division EDUC units during the EDUC 404 semester, including a Q course
  • Meet the requirements of an Education minor within the 15 upper division EDUC units

Student Experiences

Meet some Professional Development Program alumni.

  • Learning to teach in French can be a little intimidating, but for PDP student Sofie Van De Keere, the decision “est venu naturellement” (came naturally)

  • Have you ever thought about starting a new career before dismissing the idea? Think again, says Glenn Ross.

  • "I had heard a lot of great things about the Education Program at SFU."

"I came into the program as a mature student with degrees in archaeology, architecture and 15 years as a designer. After finishing the PDP, I started teaching science and math. I'm not strong in these areas, but the PDP gave me the skills to deal with these situations. I needed to get comfortable teaching lots of different things and it has actually been quite fun!"

Glenn Ross, 2018 Graduate

Learn more about the Professional Development Program

Curious to know more about the program?

Upcoming Information Sessions

Start your journey to becoming a teacher in British Columbia. Register for a Professional Development Program (PDP) information session. Hosted by the Admissions team, you will learn about:

  • The history and structure of the program
  • The different program options including the French module*
  • The admission requirements, including prerequisites
  • The application process and deadlines
  • A Q&A to get your questions answered

* For those interested in teaching in French, we recommend that you also attend the 30-minute information session hosted by the SFU's Office of Francophone and Francophile Affairs about the French module. See information and registration below. 

PDP - French Module Information Sessions

Considering teaching French or in French? Register for a Professional Development Program (PDP) – French Module information session to learn more about the program and the possibility to become a teacher in Core French, French Immersion, or Francophone program in British Columbia.

The 30-minute information session (including a question period), hosted by SFU’s Office of Francophone and Francophile Affairs (OFFA), provides information about the French Module’s specificities and advantages such as:

Program options:

  • Dual Program at the Université de Tours (France)
  • Optional course EDUC 486 - Identity(ies), Language(s) and Teaching: The Challenges of Bilingual/Plurilingual Teachers in a Minority Setting
  • Community-based Module in one of the Conseil Scolaire Francophone’s schools
  • Baccalauréat en éducation, deuxième diplôme (B.Éd.)
  • Additional bursaries and awards for students studying in French at SFU, including the PDP - French Module
  • French language support
  • Student life in French and networking with the francophone community
  • French language requirement - DELF-DALF

NOTE - It is strongly recommended to attend an information session organized by the PDP Admissions Office before attending the PDP – French Module information session.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the French Module? 

The PDP French module is designed for those interested in teaching in French Immersion, Core French (French as a Second Language Elementary of Secondary) or Francophone programs. The majority of this module is taught in French.

Applicants must indicate at the time of admission their interest in this module. They must also submit their French Language Proficency certification (DELF/DALF score) unless they are from a Francophone country with all of their post-secondary schooling in French). Questions on DELF/DALF exemptions should be directed to pps_admissions@sfu.ca.

Elementary Core French, French Immersion or Francophone Programs:

Applicants who apply to the elementary stream are considered for both the French Module and the general elementary stream of PDP If they have completed 6 units of English Literature with the required French Language Proficency certification (DELF/DALF result). All pre-requisites must be completed by May 15. 

Applicants that complete only French Literature or do not have the pre-requisite courses complete by May 15 are only considered for the French Module.

Secondary Core French:

Applicants must have a major or minor in French Language & Literature, and enter the French Module. They also must have the required French Language Proficency certification (DELF/DALF result) unless they are from a francophone country with all their post-secondary schooling in French. 

Secondary Core French with a second teachable: 

For applicants who have completed 6 units of English Literature, their second teachable does not need to be taught in French (e.g. they could teach PE for example in English). If they do not complete the English Literature requirement, they need to have a DALF C1 score to teach both Secondary subjects in French Immersion.

Secondary French Immersion or Francophone Programs:

Applicants who apply to the secondary stream for French Immersion (with a non-Core French teachable) must provide a French Language Proficency certificate of DALF C1 score, and will be placed in the French Module. They are considered for both the French Module and general secondary stream of PDP (only if they have completed 6 units of English Literature by April 30th.)

Learn more

What is the International Teacher Education Module (ITEM)? 

ITEM is a PDP English-language module that focuses on the internationalization of education. Applicants must indicate at the time of admission their interest in this module and submit a letter of intent.

ITEM completes the EDUC 401/2, 404, and 405 semesters in the Lower Mainland, but will travel to India or Mexico for 7-8 weeks of the EDUC 400 semester.

Learn more

What is the Indigenous Perspectives Teacher Education Module (IPTEM)? 

IPTEM is a PDP module that focuses on two pressing issues in education today; increasing the number of First Nations teachers in B.C.; and augmenting the knowledge, skills, and understandings of non-Indigenous people teaching and working with First Nations children and youth.

Applicants do not have to be Indigenous to apply to this module. 

Applicants must indicate at the time of admission their interest in this module and submit a letter of intent. Due to demand, we cannot guarantee placement in this module. 

Learn more

Questions?

If you have questions about the PDP not covered on our website, contact our admissions team.

Email: pps_admissions@sfu.ca (To prevent missing emails from us, add pps_admissions@sfu.ca to your contact list if you are not using an SFU email account.)

Phone: 778-782-3559