UBC Education Library teaching the teacher through community field experience

Transformative Learning | Strategy 14: Interdisciplinary Education
Theme: Collaboration

Community Field Experience (CFE) is a unique course within the UBC Bachelor of Education program. Over the course of three-weeks, teacher candidates who have finished their school-based practicums can be placed with a community partner to broaden their pedagogical horizons. Community partners include alternative learning sites like museums, international schools, camps and—for the last four years—UBC Education Library.

“We started volunteering ourselves as a community partner four years ago, and every year we’ve had interest from teacher candidates,” says Emily Fornwald, Education Librarian at UBC Education Library and Bachelor of Education-trained teacher.

A taste of library life

“The CFE program is an opportunity for post-practicum teacher candidates to explore non-traditional educational spaces. It’s a chance for them to apply their learning as new teachers outside of a traditional K-to-12 classroom,” says Fornwald, who is the primary point of contact for CFE students placed at the Education Library.

Teacher candidates work directly with the librarians to develop projects that align with ongoing initiatives at the branch and that can tie into their future work as teachers. These projects also benefit the library, as the research and other materials produced by CFE students are often incorporated into new library resources down the line.

“One of the things that we did this year, based on CFE work done last year, is a Story Workshop Kit for our collection. Crafting supplies and loose parts are brought together to support a program for early learners called Story Workshop,” says Fornwald.

For young students who can’t yet read or write, the kit provides a tactile way for them way to respond to the story. The Story Workshop Kit is now available to borrow through the UBC Library catalogue.

Please visit the UBC Library website to read the full story.

Through Strategy 14: Interdisciplinary Education, UBC is developing academic structures that foster and support opportunities for students from different perspectives and disciplines to work together on complex or emergent problems.