About Us

Message from the Faculty

Welcome to the Okanagan School of Education at UBC. A learner-focused approach to our teaching-learning environment builds on the university’s tradition of excellence as a world-class public research and teaching institution.

Our purpose is to inform educational thought, policy and practice, and to continually engage in transformational learning opportunities.
Teaching is one of the most honourable professions in society: Educating the minds and hearts of children prepares them to become responsible global citizens and stewards of the world. Our faculty members share in this role of cultivating understanding and knowledge. They create inclusive learning environments for prospective teachers, and for practitioners to deepen their inquiry into teaching and learning while advancing their credentials.

Our undergraduate students engage in immersive research, community service-learning, and practicum placements, including international settings. Growth in our graduate programs, particularly at the doctoral level, reflects the professional development needs of all learners and new opportunities for interdisciplinary inquiry.

Our nationally and internationally renowned faculty members support inquiry-based learning issues under the expansive framework of the Centre for Mindful Engagement (CME), where we focus on the habits of good thinkers. Our multipurpose classrooms are located in the newly constructed, four-storey Engineering, Management & Education Complex, a $68-million state-of-the-art facility.

We welcome you to join us in the exploration of teaching and learning, and to participate in our innovative programs that support education development at all levels.

–The Okanagan School of Education

Our Perspective

An outstanding teacher education program is more than a collection of buildings, timetables, and textbooks. Its real strength lies in its history. We believe that highly motivated faculty, staff, students, and community members create an environment that fosters academic excellence and personal growth. Our mission statement confirms that notion:

The Okanagan School of Education's mission is to educate teachers who will exemplify those attitudes, abilities, and qualities of mind that are requisite for successful teaching. The School’s established goal in achieving this mission is to offer a teacher education program of the highest quality.

Our students study and practice-teach in a beautiful, four-season setting. Class sizes are small in our programs and professors know their students by name. Education students at UBC's Okanagan campus will benefit from a practical, learner-centred educational environment that integrates new technology to facilitate learning.

History of the Program

The Okanagan School of Education traces its beginnings back to 1989 when Okanagan College opened its Elementary Education Program and began offering bachelor’s degrees in partnership with the University of Victoria. This arrangement allowed students to become teachers in a local setting and to graduate with a recognizable university degree.

The 1990s brought a number of changes for the College and to the Education program, as well. In 1993, under new legislation and a new name—Okanagan University College—the Education program moved from the South Kelowna Campus to its current site, then known as the “North Kelowna Campus” location.

Over the next few years, the Education department continued to grow and expand its offerings. In light of amendments to the College and Institutes Act that gave university colleges the power to grant their own baccalaureate degrees, the School began designing a new curriculum to serve as an independent program for Okanagan University College. This newly independent program was developed in 2000 with some key innovative features: student-centred teaching, integrated modularized courses, learning communities practica, and a capstone inquiry project. The program also included secondary specializations, the first being Math/Science. This program was launched in September 2002 and since then considerable growth has occurred, including additional secondary offerings in Trades/Technology, French, and Middle School programming. Also, graduate studies in Education are now available. The first to “roll-out” are the MA and MEd routes in Teaching and Learning. These offerings have been well received by teachers and educators in the region.

The most significant historical change to our program, of course, is our School’s transition to university status. In September 2005 we opened our doors with a new graduate program, a new mandate, a new academic plan, and a new name: UBC Okanagan.

UBC Okanagan is an institution designed to respond to the growth, and projected growth, in the southern interior of British Columbia by servicing the educational needs of the southern interior of the province—and beyond. Our enrolment reflects this growth as we currently graduate 65 Elementary specialists, 70 Secondary specialists, and approximately 25 graduate students every year.

We continue our commitment to the enhancement of teaching and learning through our research and programs, which involve faculty and students in exploring innovative pedagogy, inquiry, critical reflection, and mindful engagement with diverse communities in regional and international contexts.

We are also committed to providing rich and relevant learning experiences that support the academic and professional career aspirations of our students, by providing transferable skills for careers in and out of the classroom.

Last reviewed shim7/25/2018 1:38:56 PM