Field Experience

What is field experience?

Bachelor of Education students undertake 20 weeks of in-classroom practicum, or field experience, organized into four, cohort-based courses: EDUC 440, EDUC 465, EDUC 540, and EDUC 560.


The learning experience in field

All field experiences involve school learning experiences supported by an online classroom environment. During each field experience, student teachers participate in seminars, read and discuss assigned readings, complete individual and group assignments, and share final presentations based on their field experience learning.

Fields I, II, III, and IV

In Field Experience I, students are not placed with partner teachers, but instead visit multiple classrooms to find out about life in schools.

In Field Experience II, III & IV, student teachers are mentored by partner teachers, and gradually work toward assuming the full responsibilities of a classroom teacher.

Although Field Experience III and Field Experience IV are separate field courses, with individual course expectations, students will ideally be placed in the same school with the same partner teacher for both experiences.

Interested in becoming a partner teacher? Visit our partner teacher site


Books

EDUC 440: Field Experience I

  • 2 weeks in the Fall, first EDUC term
  • Students work in groups
  • Experience from K -12 (one week elementary, one week middle or secondary)
  • Structured as ethnographic research inquiry into the culture of schools
  • Deeply integrated into two on-campus courses (EDUC 430 and EDUC 435)
  • Course description
Physics

EDUC 465: Field Experience II

  • Four weeks in the Winter, second EDUC term
  • Individually paired with a mentor teacher
  • Inquiry theme is individual learners and learning
  • Focus is on working with individuals and small groups
  • Assignments include planning and implementing a series of learning experiences for a small group of learners, and team-teaching with individuals and small groups of learners, with a mentor teacher's guidance
  • Course description
Art

EDUC 540: Field Experience III

  • Six weeks in the Fall, third EDUC term
  • Individually paired with mentor teacher
  • Focus is on complex dimensions of learning and teaching in context of whole program
  • Students will have a graduated process of assuming teaching responsibly up to 75% by the end of their field experience, with emphasis on diversity
  • Under partner teachers' mentorship, the student extends their understanding of planning, assessment, and self assessment
  • Course description
Pottery

EDUC 560: Field Experience IV

  • Eight weeks in the Winter, final EDUC term
  • Individually paired with a mentor teacher
  • Focus is on curriculum planning, implementation, and assessment
  • Course description

Police Information Checks

All students participating in field experience require a Police Information Check. Visit our detailed site for more details on obtaining your Check.


Important Field Experience Information

  1. EDUC 440: Field Experience I

    Dates

    October 15th - 24th, 2019

    Seminars

    None

  2. EDUC 465: Field Experience II

    Dates

    March 16th - April 24th, 2020*

    *Field II is four weeks. Start and end dates will depend on the timing and duration of the Spring holiday at each school. Ensure that you are available for the entirety of the six weeks stated.

    Seminars

    Calgary-and-Area

    • Seminar I: March 4th, 2020 at 9.00am - 12.00pm OR 1.00 - 4.00pm. Please Note: Plan to be available for both times, as seminars will not be assigned until placements are finalized
    • Seminar II: April 23rd, 2020 at 9.00am - 12.00pm OR 1.00 - 4.00pm. Please Note: Plan to be available for both times, as seminars will not be assigned until placements are finalized

    Out-of-Area

    • Seminar dates and times will be as arranged by the instructor
  3. EDUC 540: Field Experience III

    Dates

    November 4th - December 13th, 2019

    Seminars

    On-Campus

    • Seminar I: October 22nd OR October 24th, 2019 at 1.30 - 4.30pm. Please Note: Plan to be available for both dates, as seminars will not be assigned until placements are finalized
    • Seminar II: November 29th, 2019 at 9.00am - 12.00pm OR 1.00 - 4.00pm. Please Note: Plan to be available for both times, as seminars will not be assigned until placements are finalized

    Out-of-Area

    • Seminar dates and times will be as arranged by the instructor
  4. EDUC 560: Field Experience IV

    Dates

    February 18th - April 24th, 2020*

    *Field IV is eight weeks. Start and end dates will depend on the timing and duration of the relevant Teachers' Convention and Spring holiday at each school. Ensure that you are available for the entirety of the ten weeks stated.

    Seminars

    On-Campus

    • Seminar I: February 6th, 2020 at 4.00 - 5.00pm.
    • Seminar II: March 13th, 2020, at 9.00am - 12.00pm OR 1.00 - 4.00pm. Please Note: Plan to be available for both times, as seminars will not be assigned until placements are finalized
    • Seminar III: April 24th, 2020 at 9.00am - 12.00pm OR 1.00 - 4.00pm. Please Note: Plan to be available for both times, as seminars will not be assigned until placements are finalized

    Out-of-Area

    • Seminar dates and times will be as arranged by the instructor

Absences in field experience are allowed only under specific circumstances, and are monitored closely by the Field Team. Acceptable reasons for an absence in field are: illness, family emergency, professional development that is not undertaken with your partner teacher, or religious observance. 

All absences after the first will require written documentation from a medical doctor or appropriate contact. Students are only permitted a certain number of days absent per field, as follows:

  • 3 days in EDUC 465 (Field II)
  • 4 days in EDUC 540 (Field III)
  • 4 days in EDUC 560 (Field IV)

If you cannot make your placement, please:

  • Notify your partner teacher
  • Notify your field instructor
  • Notify the Field Team via upefield@ucalgary.ca, as soon as is possible
  1. Professional Development Leave of Absence Form

    All absences for professional development will require a completed Professional Development Leave of Absence Form. Please complete the Form if you will be attending a professional development activity that:

    1. Requires you to miss time in field, and;
    2. Is not also being attended by your partner teacher. 

    You are permitted one day for professional development in EDUC 465, and two days for professional development in EDUC 540 and 560. These days count in your total days allowed for absence in field. For example, if you are in EDUC 540 and you are ill for two days and undertake two days of professional development, you have used up your allotted days for absence.*

    *Please refer to the attendance policy information, above.

The below school boards require student teachers to fill out a confidentiality form. If your placement is with one of these boards, please download the associated form.

  1. Calgary Board of Education

    CBE Confidentiality Form

Please be familiar with your roles and responsibilities as outlined in the Student Field Experience Handbook.

When submitting your field forms to help out team arrange your placements, you will be asked to define your 'territory' as follows: are you seeking a placement in Calgary-and-area* or are you out-of-area**?

*Calgary-and-area contains school divisions within the City of Calgary, and the surrounding divisions including Rocky View, Foothills, Christ the Redeemer, and the town of Strathmore.

**Out-of-area constitutes placements in any division not listed above.

Please Note: When contacting the Field Team, you should identify yourself as Calgary-and-area/out-of-area: On-Campus students can seek out-of-area placements, and Community-Based students can seek Calgary-and-area placements!

  1. Calgary-and-Area Map

    Looking for your Calgary-and-Area community and/or quadrant? Use our UPE Field Map.


FAQs

How is field scheduled?

Field experience placements are scheduled in a 'chunk', meaning that when you are in field, all of your other courses stop, and you will be at your partner school from Monday to Friday, for whatever that school's hours are (and then some!). Check out the date and deadlines information, above, to get an idea of what that scheduling looks like (dates are, of course, are subject to shifting from year to year!).

Can I arrange my own placement?

Under no circumstances shall student teachers contact a field site regarding their placements, until they have been confirmed and posted by the Field Team. It is the responsibility of the student to notify the faculty of any ineligible sites, where family or friends attend or work, and sites in which the student has volunteered or attended. Failure to comply with these conditions may jeopardize successfully completion of the field experience, and affect the validity of teacher certification.

Can I change my placement?

This is not normally possible, unless a mistake has been made in the placement process (for example, you have erroneously been placed in a school that you once attended as a student).

Why couldn't you place me closer to home?

Every effort is made to place student teachers within a reasonable traveling distance from their place of residence, however, based on available school sites, this cannot be guaranteed. As with any paid employment, you are not guaranteed to live next door to where you work, and this is the same for field. Our priority is to give you the best placement possible - not the most convenient one!