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British Columbia Teachers’ Institute on Parliamentary Democracy

The Legislative Assembly of British Columbia offers an annual British Columbia Teachers’ Institute on Parliamentary Democracy for B.C. teachers in elementary, middle and secondary school. The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, the Honourable Linda Reid, as sponsor of the program, is pleased to invite teachers to come to the Parliament Buildings and learn about parliamentary democracy and political process. It is an intensive professional development opportunity for teachers of social studies and related subjects for grades 4 through 12.

Up to thirty teachers will be accepted to participate and experience B.C.’s parliamentary system first-hand, returning to their schools and communities with an enhanced understanding of democracy. It is a rigorous 4 days of learning. Revised Sample Agenda available for viewing PDF.


  • To provide a successful learning experience enabling teachers to gain a deeper understanding of parliamentary democracy in British Columbia;
  • To offer an opportunity for teachers to develop new lesson plans on parliamentary democracy and effective citizenship to the benefit of students, schools and communities;
  • To encourage participating teachers to promote a greater knowledge of the importance and relevance of parliamentary democracy; and,
  • To honour and recognize the achievements of participating teachers from across British Columbia.


  • To provide an opportunity for teachers to interact with Members of the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Assembly staff;
  • To stimulate an interest in and enhance knowledge of B.C.’s parliamentary and political system;
  • To encourage teachers to champion the cause of active citizenship education to their students, school and community;
  • To encourage critical discussion on key issues in parliamentary democracy;
  • To assist teachers in developing new lesson plans on parliamentary democracy;
  • To facilitate sharing of ideas, strategies and resources for teaching about parliamentary democracy in B.C. classrooms; and,
  • To familiarize teachers with the educational resources available through Parliamentary Education Office at the Legislative Assembly.


The Institute includes briefings by the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, Clerk of the House, Law Clerk, and Cabinet Operations as well as informal meetings with elected officials. Tours of the Parliament Buildings include a behind-the-scene peek at the Legislative Chamber, Speaker’s Corridor and the Legislative Library – all highlighting the grandeur of our majestic Parliament Buildings. Other activities include presentations from Legislative Assembly staff on the Parliamentary Committee system and Hansard Services as well as panel discussions with Members of the Legislative Assembly and the Press Gallery.

Teachers are divided into teams during the Institute. Each team is assigned a facilitator, an experienced teacher from British Columbia who has previously participated in the B.C. Teachers’ Institute. Time will be set aside each day for teachers to work collaboratively and to debrief with their facilitator. Each team will be responsible for developing a lesson plan based on their experiences at the Institute. Lesson plans are presented on the final day of the Institute, and made available on the Legislative Assembly website as resources for teachers across the province.

All British Columbia teachers from elementary, middle and secondary levels are invited to apply. Selected applicants will be contacted approximately 6 weeks prior to the event. There is a registration fee of $175.00 that includes accommodation, all meals and resource materials. There are some travel subsidies available to participants travelling from far distances.

Please note:

  • Participating teachers are responsible for arranging their own substitution costs.
  • Selected teachers may only defer acceptance once.
  • Attendance is mandatory at all sessions and business.
  • Business attire is required for most sessions


  • Greater knowledge of B.C.’s parliamentary and political system;
  • Meet with key Legislative Assembly staff and pose questions to those who work and perform in B.C.'s parliamentary system;
  • Engage in discussions to further promote an understanding and awareness of the Legislature and its relevance;
  • Opportunity to work collaboratively to develop new lesson plans for social studies; and,
  • Share and receive resources on B.C.’s parliamentary system and from across Canada.


Both new and experienced teachers are invited to apply; however, all applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Applicant has not previously participated in a session of the B.C. Teachers’ Institute;
  • Applicant is a certified teacher and is currently working in B.C.’s K-12 education system;
  • Applicant will continue working in B.C.’s education system until at least June 2015.

Please Note: applications from learning assistance teachers, administrators, or educators who are not currently working in a classroom setting will also be considered.


Teachers who have attended a B.C. Teachers’ Institute on Parliamentary Democracy are eligible to apply to return once as a facilitator. A facilitator application form will be available on-line as session dates are confirmed. Facilitators are the first point of contact and provide ongoing guidance and support to participants. Facilitators are expected to be approachable, knowledgeable and to have excellent organizational and leadership skills. In addition, facilitators will have the ability to promote discussion and critical inquiry into key issues on Parliamentary Democracy. Successful applicants will have their accommodation, meals, travel, and ToC costs paid for by the B.C. Teachers’ Institute, and the registration fee is waived for facilitators. Applications for facilitators are accepted once a year. Please check back in the Spring to apply.

The facilitator application deadline has now passed. If your application is approved and you are selected to attend, you will be required to complete an on-line facilitator registration form. Please ensure to keep your individual tracking number for this purpose.

Please contact the Parliamentary Education Office for details regarding the next B.C. Teachers’ Institute on Parliamentary Democracy at PEO@leg.bc.ca. Thank you for your interest.

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