What is the AFE?

The Bachelor of Education includes two non-credit Alternative Field Experience courses:

  1. EDUC 5025Q Alternative Field Experience I: A field placement or research or leadership project, in support of specialty courses. Three weeks, .25 credit. Year two, first term.
  2. EDUC 5026S Alternative Field Experience II: A second field placement or research or leadership project, in support of specialty courses, or, with approval, another aspect of teacher development. Four weeks, .25 credit. Year two, second term.

Each Alternative Field Experience must be full-time, include supervision/mentorship and be related to the field of education. In addition to the experience, each course also requires that you:

  1. Identify substantive learning outcomes for yourself
  2. Submit an AFE Proposal – online form submitted several weeks in advance, for approval by the Teacher Education Office and Specialty Coordinator
  3. Submit an AFE Final Report – reflection form submitted prior to the last day of the AFE, signed by the AFE supervisor, for approval by the Teacher Education Office and Specialty Coordinator

Teacher candidates are expected to find their own Alternative Field Experiences. If support is needed, contact the Teacher Education Office.

What qualifies as an Alternative Field Experience?

Alternative Field Experiences (EDUC 5025Q and EDUC 5026S) provide opportunities to try something different — to widen your experience, expand your knowledge, and develop your skills. The experience must include the following components:

  1. Full-time, equivalent to 6 hours per day, 5 days per week
  2. Valuable learning experience with substantive responsibility
  3. Supervisor who will guide / mentor you
  4. Related to your professional goals
  5. Related to the field of education
  6. Related to your Specialty (for AFE 1 only)
    • Advanced Studies in the Psychology of Achievement, Inclusion and Mental Health – supporting mental health and inclusion in the community (ex. Special Education Resource Teachers, students with Individualized Education Plans, social services)
    • Early Childhood Education – with children aged 8 and under, or their parents (ex. daycare, community centre, Montesorri school, Kindergarten classroom)
    • French Education – in the field of French education, or second language acquisition (ex. French first language school, FSL classroom)
    • International Education – with culturally diverse groups or international curricula (ex. ELL classes, IB schools, services for newcomers to Canada)
    • 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)

Purpose of the AFE

Alternative Field Experiences (EDUC 5025Q and EDUC 5026S) provide opportunities to try something different — to widen your experience, expand your knowledge, and develop your skills. In addition to professional development and networking, AFEs also provide valuable learning for future employment searches:

Job Search Experience Teacher candidates will gain experience searching for a role and selling themselves to an organization, within the safe environment of a field experience. You will also gain experience articulating specific learning objectives and teaching pedagogies through the AFE Proposal and Final Report, a skill set that is extremely valuable in interviews.

Competitive Advantage The additional experience of the AFE, above and beyond the practica required by the Ontario College of Teachers, will set you apart in future school board interviews. School boards often use group interview strategies, and Western teacher candidates will be prepared to articulate their AFE learning objectives and how those supplemental experiences will benefit their future classrooms.

Supporting Materials You will also be able to include your AFE Proposals / Final Reports in your Teaching Portfolio, Ontario College of Teachers account and ApplyToEducation applications.

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