Calgary Board of Education Cohort for Design Thinking

The Calgary Board of Education believes that each student is unique and that personalized learning is the key to their success. Therefore, the CBE offers many professional development opportunities, including those that focus on the principles of design thinking and creating authentic tasks that make learning visible for students.

Students entering their final year of the BEd program are invited to apply to be matched with a CBE partner teacher who has experience in design thinking. Selected students will participate in a design thinking cohort and work with their partner teacher for Fields 3 and 4 to design and implement personalized, authentic learning experiences and tasks in the classroom.

  • Opportunity for pre-service teachers to collaborate with teachers in CBE-led professional development opportunities
  • Matched students will be placed with a partner teacher from their subject specialization
  • Participating in this opportunity will not affect students' Field Experience evaluations. The opportunity will not be included in students' Field Evaluations, and if either the pre-service teacher or the partner teacher decide to opt out of the cohort, students' evaluations will not be affected.
  • As with all Field Experiences, if the partner teacher believes that a student's participation in the cohort will compromise their field placement, the partner teacher or field instructor have the right to ask participants to leave the cohort.


  • Pre-service teachers need a current Police Information Check with Vulnerable Sector Screening (issued after July 1, 2019).
  • Pre-service teachers must be entering the final year of their teacher education program to be eligible for this opportunity
  • Since students matched to this program will be placed in Calgary Board of Education schools, participating students must have access to transportation and be willing to be placed in CBE for Fields 3 and 4.

Please also note:

  • If you apply for this opportunity, we will consider it your #1 priority for a Field Placement. While we do work to accommodate all of your requests (e.g., location, teacher interests, etc.), the specialized nature of this opportunity and the limited number of teachers available means that perfect matches on every front are not always possible.
  • Travel times for this opportunity tend to be somewhat longer than usual for Field 3/4, as fewer teachers are available for these opportunities than for regular field placements.
  • These placements are arranged by the school board, not by our Field team. As a result, if you are placed with this Cohort but the placement falls through, we may not be able to secure another placement alongside the Cohort. We will certainly find you a suitable Field 3/4 placement, however.

Pre-service teachers will participate in four professional development sessions between September 2019 and April 2020. The sessions include:

  1. An Orientation Session. Participants will receive an orientation to the placement's goals and timelines, as well as an introduction to design thinking and the Werklund School of Education's approach to intentional learning opportunities.
  2. A Workshop on CBE's Approach to Design Thinking. Participants will work with CBE Learning Specialists to explore the principles of design thinking and how CBE teachers use instructional design to meet the needs of their students.
  3. Debrief and Planning with Partner Teachers. Participants and their partner teachers will meet to discuss their work from Field 3 and plan how they will implement design thinking principles once Field 4 begins.
  4. A Public Celebration of Learning. A core part of the scholarship of teaching and learning is sharing your work with other educators. Pre-service teachers and their partner teachers will be invited to a public celebration of their inquiry projects to showcase student work and recognize participants' contributions.

After attending the first three sessions, pre-service teachers will design and implement an authentic learning experience, connected to the Program of Studies, using design thinking as a lens. Importantly, as expected in any practicum placement, debriefing and planning with your partner teacher will be ongoing throughout this process.

  • Orientation Session: Thursday, September 12
  • Design Thinking Workshop: Tuesday, October 8, 2:00-3:30pm in EDT 450
  • Reconnecting Workshop: Tuesday, January 7, 1:00-3:00pm (room TBD)
  • Connecting with Expertise Day (as part of EDUC 546: Design-Based Thinking): Mid-January (specific date TBD)
  • Celebration and Debrief: Tuesday, April 28, 2:00-3:00pm (room TBD)

Interested in this opportunity? Applications for Fall 2020 will open in March!

For more details about this opportunity, check out the following links:

In the spirit of how the CBE supports design thinking for teachers, interested students should approach this as a collaborative journey. Students should come in with a knowledge of design thinking and collaborate actively with their partner teacher. In Field 4, students will work alongside their teacher to design and implement an authentic learning experience, connected to the Program of Studies, using design thinking as a lens.