As part of its commitment to transformative teaching and learning, the Faculty of Education is proud to announce the launch of a new certificate, the Graduate Certificate in Educational Studies (GCES). The GCES provides the opportunity for working educational professionals to pursue studies in the disciplinary focus of their choice, using a cohort model to facilitate the development of professional learning communities.
The areas of disciplinary focus launching in the spring and summer of 2022 are:
- Early childhood education
- Learning design in post-secondary education
- Indigenous education
- Mathematics education
- Technology in education
Each disciplinary focus is a four-course (12 credits) experience designed to help education professionals stay current in the field and address emergent needs of each area.
“We hope this addresses needs in the field as identified by teachers and school divisions, but also that it will allow educators to gain additional preparation in a specific area of focus, or to work toward their master of education, if they so choose,” said Scott Key, Director of Professional Learning in the Faculty of Education.
‘A great way for professionals to dip their toes in graduate work’
Lynn McGarvey, a professor of elementary education who helped design and will help deliver the GCES mathematics education program, says the certificate is for classroom teachers, consultants, curriculum developers, and educators who are looking to deepen their own understanding of mathematics teaching and learning.
“We want students to gain new insights into contemporary perspectives on mathematics learning, recognize how numeracy is essential understanding for disciplines, commit to teaching mathematics in ways that are culturally responsive, and of course, enter the teaching and learning from a place of play,” McGarvey said.
“The GCES is a great way for professionals to dip their toes into graduate work and also for educators who already have a master’s degree, but want an opportunity to continue their professional growth through a four-course program,” she added.
Elementary education professor Anna Kirova says the GCES in early childhood education will help teachers respond to the growing need for appropriate skill sets to work in programs with children below mandatory school age.
“As schools have increased the number of early education classrooms they have encountered some challenges in finding staff with the required skills and knowledge to work with very young children, particularly in rural areas,” Kirova said. “The Graduate Certificate in Educational Studies offers an invaluable opportunity for in-service teachers to maintain currency with respect to the knowledge, skills and attitudes required for their positions as articulated in Alberta’s Teaching Quality Standard.”
Enrollees in the early childhood education GCES program will gain specialized knowledge and practical grounding in language development and literacy; play as a pedagogical approach in relation to cultural, philosophical, and historical traditions, current practices and recent research; young children’s mathematical understanding; schools’ potential to foster inclusion of different groups and to create a safe space for all students, and more, Kirova said.
Support for growth as more effective educators
The GCES in Indigenous education offers professional learning for in-service teachers supporting their growth as more effective teachers of First Nations, Métis and Inuit ways of being, knowing and doing. The program addresses subjects of particular interest and need in deepening understanding of and ability to engage with mandatory foundational Indigenous knowledge per TQS 5: Applying Foundational Knowledge about First Nations, Métis and Inuit.
The GCES in learning design in post-secondary education provides advanced study at the graduate level for individuals who work in, or aspire to work in, adult and higher education settings with the background knowledge and practical experience necessary to develop effective and engaging learning designs.
The GCES in technology in education will advance practicing teachers' efficacy in leveraging technology to support pedagogy and will be delivered online in a synchronous and asynchronous format.
Cohorts focused on rural education and wellness education are slated to launch in the summer of 2023.
Applications for GCES programs are open now until March 31, 2022, except the GCES in learning design in post-secondary education, which has a deadline of February 28, 2022. For more information on the programs and how to apply, visit the Faculty of Education’s GCES webpages.
Master of Education in Educational Studies for ATEP Graduates
The Faculty of Education is also proud to announce the launch of a Master of Education in Educational Studies program, especially for graduates of the Aboriginal Teacher Education Program (ATEP), admitting its first cohort in 2022.
“We see this as an opportunity for the Faculty to help Indigenous educators move toward leadership positions,” said Key.
To optimize the learning experience, students in this cohort will be taught primarily by Indigenous faculty, focusing on Indigenous pedagogies and research methodologies. The MES-ATEP is structured to facilitate studying while you work, comprising 10 courses, in sequence, with a cohort of ATEP graduates limited to 24 students. Four of the courses are delivered in-person on the U of A campus during the summer; the remaining six are delivered fully online, with some synchronous components.
Applications for the MES-ATEP cohort are open now until March 31, 2022. For more information on the program and how to apply, visit the Faculty of Education’s MES-ATEP webpages.