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Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto
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Concurrent BEd Courses


Principles of Teaching: Legal, Ethical and Professional

This course builds understanding of teaching as a professional practice. The course primarily focuses on the research base underlying policies and documents such as The Foundations of Professional Practice. The course is linked to an online module on School Law. This course is offered in the partner units, and has an associated field experience of six days.

Inclusive Education: ELLs and Exceptional Learners

This course provides a foundation in inclusive curriculum and pedagogical practices for diverse exceptional learners (including behaviour, communication, intellectual, physical and multiple exceptionalities), and students for whom English is an additional language. The course includes a field experience involving observation and tutoring of an exceptional learner or an English language learner. This course emphasizes inclusion of all students through differentiated instruction. This course is offered in the partner units, and has an associated field experience of 15-20 hours.

Psychological Foundations of Learning

This course builds on, and extends, the introductory Psychology course on Child and Adolescent Development. It delves more deeply into how development influences learning and also examines general issues related to how students learn. In recent years, several important evidence-based principles have emerged about the nature of learning. For example, we know that learning is a constructive rather than a receptive process, that the structure and organization of knowledge profoundly impact our thinking, that self regulation of cognition are important characteristics of effective learning, that motivation and beliefs direct learning, that social interaction and discourse play an important role in cognitive development, and that to develop competence, a deep foundation of knowledge is needed. We also know that individuals learn differently. How well a teacher understands and appreciates the psychological factors that influence student learning, student motivation, and the learning environment plays an important role in effective teaching practice. There will be a strong emphasis on “application”, with students being encouraged to think critically about learning as they connect course content to both in-class case studies and facets of actual teacher practice observed in their practicum.

Social Foundations of Teaching and Schooling

This course builds on issues introduced in Equity and Diversity in Education course by helping new teachers understand how they can support diverse students’ learning in classroom, school and school system settings. The course helps teacher candidates develop understandings of opportunities for teacher development in school settings; family, community and peer characteristics that shape students’ experiences of schooling; classroom social dynamics and teachers’ curricular and pedagogical choices; program and school organization, and how teachers can work effectively with other teachers and administrators; as well as how educational policies shape the conditions of teaching and learning. Course participants will develop observational skills in order to understand and intervene successfully in classroom, school and policy/system dynamics. By linking with the Practicum in the Professional Semester, the course allows students to observe, experiment with and reflect upon actual teaching experiences and to connect those observations and experiences to larger debates in the educational literature about the goals, purposes, and limitations of schooling.

Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment 1 and 2

These courses emphasizes subject-specific methodology. Students are introduced to curriculum documents appropriate to their division(s), evidence-informed pedagogical practices, and assessment and evaluation methods. Information about the specific Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment courses is available in the Initial Teacher Education Calendar 2012-13.

Mentored Inquiry in Teaching

This course is designed to emphasize making connections between theory and practice by focusing on a field placemement context. The course integrates foundational, field-based learning, and teacher inquiry practices that focus on student learning, achievement, and wellbeing to inform effective teaching and learning practices. You will learn the importance of informing ones' practice through monitoring and feedback to ensure continous improvement. Through inquiry, you will engage in reflective practice related to issues and challenges, problem-solving and questioning of assumptions about teaching and learning from a range of educational perspectives. This course will include an in-class component as well as MIT field experience days and will be linked to the e-Portfolio.


The practicum consists of two main components: 1) orientation to schools, communities and systems and 2) opportunities for classroom practice related to the candidate’s specific program. Under the new sequence of program components, teacher candidates will spend 4 weeks in November in schools for their first practicum, and 4 weeks in November plus 3 weeks in April/May in schools for their second practicum. More information about the practicum is available on the School-University Partnerships Office (SUPO) website.

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Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, 252 Bloor Street West, Toronto, Ontario M5S 1V6 CANADA