Teaching Partners: Elementary 3rd Year Fall Term Option

Please note: This option was discontinued as of the Fall semester 2012

Teaching Partners: Elementary 3rd Year Fall Term Option

Students in McGill’s B.Ed. Elementary/Kindergarten program have access to an optional approach to experiencing the fall semester of the third year of the program. This option was piloted in the Fall of 2004 and continued in the fall terms of 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010. It is offered through the efforts of Prof. David Dillon and a number of elementary schools across the island of Montreal. Students may opt into this alternative on a first-come, first-served basis until the number of placements available in these schools are filled.

The semester seeks to integrate the course work of that term with the third-year field experience over the entire semester to create a full-term, school-based, professional semester. As a result, students work in cohorts of approximately 3-6 full-time in their school placements over the entire semester, from the beginning of the public school year in late August until the usual end of the fall semester in early December, for a total of 15 weeks. All work for the term is aimed at the development of professional teaching competencies upon which students will be assessed in student teaching. There is one major assignment for the term — the development of a professional teaching portfolio, as a means of helping shape one’s emerging professional identity and also of documenting one’s professional experience and ability for prospective employers.

The purpose of this alternative approach to the semester is twofold. One is to provide students with a more complete and realistic experience of a teacher’s work nowadays, hopefully allowing students to make better informed decisions about continuing on this career path or not. The second is to provide students with an enhanced opportunity to better develop the professional abilities necessary to succeed as beginning teachers. For participating schools, the goal is that the McGill presence helps them in achieving their educational goals for their pupils. This approach is based on the notion of Professional Development Schools that has developed in teacher education programs over the past several decades in North America. A suitable analogy might be that of medical interns spending a long internship in a leading-edge teaching hospital.

This Web site is designed to provide detailed information about this alternative approach to the term for prospective and current students, for prospective and current cooperating teachers, and for others such as principals, school staffs, and so on. Your comments and inquiries are welcome.

david.dillon [at] mcgill.ca (David Dillon)

EDUS Award