Summer Institute in Teacher Education

Summer Institute in Teacher Education

Innovative Teaching Practices for 21st Century Students

The Summer Institute in Teacher Education (SITE) located at the University of the Fraser Valley (Abbotsford campus) provides exciting opportunities for local, national and international educators to engage in powerful professional development.

Whether you are a recent Teacher Education Program graduate, a TTOC (Trained Teacher On Call), a teacher in the early years of having your own classroom, or a teacher in career transition, this Summer Institute is ideal for you.

SITE is designed with practicing teachers in mind. It is flexible, provides a wide array of courses (1-, 2- or 3-credit), and puts the needs of school teachers first. We take great care to offer coursework in subjects and topics that matter most to educators.

SITE’s instructors are specialists in their fields who offer powerful and memorable learning opportunities.

Join us for the 2018 Summer Institute in Teacher Education at the University of the Fraser Valley. We look forward to learning with you.

Summer Institute in Teacher Education 

Enabling Innovation, Summer 2018, TBA

In 2010 the BC Ministry of Education, in consultation with people across the province, began developing a new curriculum document, in hopes of better serving the learning needs of today’s students. The intention is that this new curriculum will be up and running in K-9 classrooms beginning in September 2016.

While new curricular documents are a start, we know that real change begins with teachers in schools interacting with students and colleagues. As such, our Summer Institute is centered around the idea of teacher agency: it is our desire to bolster teachers as they incorporate “innovators of curricular change” into their job titles.

Enabling Innovation, the thematic focus of SITE, is reflective of the title of a 2012 BC Ministry of Education document that discusses the consultation process the government went through as the new curriculum was developed. However, we envision SITE encompassing not only new curricular innovations but also innovative practices that empower teachers as change agents in their own classrooms and districts.

As Halbert and Kaser state in Spirals of Inquiry, “Innovation is about recognizing that old approaches are not working for all learners, identifying what the key needs of our current learners are, and then creating new strategies based on knowledge about what does work” (p. 9).

Central concepts driving the course design for SITE include the following:

(1)   Reflective Practice – Utilizing Brookfield’s “Complimentary lenses” (1995) and Larrivee’s “Critical Reflection” stance (2000) as starting points, our courses will encourage critical and deliberate examination of practice in light of what our students tell us, what our colleagues tells us, what research tells us, and what we tell ourselves in relation to innovative and powerful praxis.

(2)   Inquiry as Stance – Cochrane-Smith and Lytle’s (2001; 2009) “inquiry as stance” is a grounded theory of action that positions teacher practitioners and their knowledge of practice as central to the goals of transforming teaching, learning, leading, and schooling. Courses will support a bearing of inquiry as a framework for examining practice and enabling innovation.

(3)   Teacher Learning Communities – Courses will operate in a model developed by Shulman & Shulman (2004) in which experienced teachers enact five principles of professional learning:

  1. Ready — “possessing vision” and ready to pursue a vision of classrooms or schools that constitute innovative practices for 21st century students;
  2. Willing — “having motivation” and being willing to expend energy and persist in order to sustain professional learning towards that vision;
  3. Able — “both knowing and being able to do” and understanding the complex forms of pedagogical and organizational practice needed to transform vision, motives and innovations into a functioning, pragmatic reality;
  4. Reflective — “learning from experience” and capable of delving into their practice through questioning and actively reflecting on actions and consequences;
  5. Communal — “acting as a member of a professional community” and participating in meaning-making and learning exchange to encourage deeper understanding.

(4)   Three Ways Forward (Halbert and Kaiser, 2015) – Borrowing from Halbert and Kaiser, coursework will include a “judicious weaving of three ways forward” whereby we will:

  1. Draw from traditions informed by the wisdom of local Indigenous practices;
  2. Apply current knowledge about learning and teaching based on the strength of international research and practice; and,
  3. Attend to emergent knowledge and new practices by encouraging widespread micro innovations.

By weaving together this strong conceptual framework, the power of collective action and reflection, and a motivation to enact change, SITE sets the stage for enabling innovation. We look forward to seeing you in Summer 2018 Summer Institute in Teacher Education at the University of the Fraser Valley !

Information for:


Contact Us