For AFE Hosts

what is the alternative field experience

Western University’s two year Bachelor of Education (BEd) includes two Alternative Field Experience courses:

  1. EDUC 5025Q Alternative Field Experience I: Three weeks, .25 credit. Year two, first term (November/December).
  2. EDUC 5026S Alternative Field Experience II: Four weeks, .25 credit. Year two, second term (April/May).

The AFE are full-time volunteering opportunities for Teacher Candidates to enrich their knowledge of the broader community.

Teacher Candidates are responsible for securing their own AFEs. We encourage Teacher Candidates to consider different grades or subjects; school resource personnel or specialist teachers; non-profit organizations or community centres.

We love having the teacher candidates with us here at the Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration. Since most of our teaching assistants are graduate students with little or no experience working with kids, having teacher candidates come in and work with them to evaluate the workshops for content as well as delivery has been very helpful. Dr. Parshati Patel, Outreach Program Coordinator, Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration

The experience must be:
  1. Full-time (equivalent to at least 30 hours per week) – Teacher Candidates should follow their Supervisor’s schedule
  2. A valuable learning experience with new and substantive responsibility
  3. With a Supervisor who will guide / mentor consistently throughout
  4. Related to teacher candidate’s professional goals
  5. Related to the field of education
  6. Related to teacher candidate’s Specialty (for AFE 1 only)
    • Advanced Studies in the Psychology of Achievement, Inclusion and Mental Health – supporting mental health and inclusion in a school (ex. Special Education Resource Teachers, students with Individualized Education Plans) or in the community (social services and supports)
    • Early Childhood Education – with children aged 8 and under, or their parents (ex. daycare, community centre, Montessori school, Kindergarten classroom)
    • French Education – in the field of Francophone education or second language acquisition (ex. French first language school, FSL classroom, French language museum or community support)
    • International Education – with culturally diverse groups or international curricula (ex. ELL classes, IB schools, services for newcomers to Canada)
    • Mathematics Through the Arts – incorporating both mathematics and art, with P/J or J/I aged students depending on the teacher candidate’s stream (ex. STEAM setting, learning commons, etc.)
    • STEM Education – in a setting that incorporates all components of STEM (ex. schools with STEM programs, Let’s Talk Science post-secondary initiatives, science centres)
    • Urban Education – with diverse groups of students, including various socio-economic, cultural, religious backgrounds, etc. (ex. schools in high density areas, social services)

As a new interdisciplinary training clinic, we do not currently have educators as part of our team, but [a teacher candidate’s] presence and feedback showed us that the ideas and perspective of educators are valuable to have here as part of our work. Thank you for this first opportunity to connect educators to our clinician team. Dr. Colin King, Director, Child and Youth Development Clinic

Teacher Candidate Responsibilities:
  1. Contact their desired Host to request placement.
  2. Work directly with the Supervisor to determine the expectations for the AFE.
  3. Submit the AFE Proposal to the Teacher Education Office before the deadline. This will be reviewed to ensure it meets the AFE minimum requirements. Approval is not guaranteed.
  4. In the final days of the AFE, complete the Teacher Candidate Final Report and ensure their host completes the Supervisor’s Final Report.
AFE Supervisor Responsibilities:
  1. Work directly with the Teacher Candidate to determine the expectations for the AFE.
  2. Provide meaningful and mutually beneficial work.**
  3. Review the Teacher Candidate’s Final Report. This will be sent to you by email once the teacher candidate completes it.
  4. Complete the Supervisor’s Final Report. This online form takes approximately 5-10 minutes to complete. Hosts will receive a link to this form by email after the Teacher Candidate submits their Final Report.

**The Alternative Field Experience is not a practicum placement and can be completed outside of a classroom setting. There is no “per diem” for hosts. Teacher candidates must be supervised and may not take the place of Supply Teachers.

Western’s Teacher Education Office Responsibilities:
  1. Review the AFE Proposals, in partnership with the Specialty Coordinators, and notify Teacher Candidates & AFE Supervisors once approved.
  2. Coordinate a Placement Agreement with the AFE Host Site, as needed.
  3. Support Teacher Candidates and AFE Supervisors, as needed.
  4. Review the Final Reports, in partnership with the Specialty Coordinators, and process the AFE course grades once complete.

Previous AFE Hosts: Blyth Academy Boys & Girls Club of London Canadian Civil Liberties Association Child & Youth Development Clinic Columbia International College Islamic Foundation School, Toronto Junior Achievement, London and more

Interested in becoming an AFE host?

Coordinate directly with a teacher candidate or contact Katie Mentone, BEd Program Coordinator, at, to share your opportunity


Read about our partnership with the Boys & Girls Club of London here!


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