Why do a PGCE?

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Advantages of doing the PGCE

The PGCE is an internationally recognised academic qualification. It will give you:

  • A critical reflective approach to thinking about aspects of learning,
  • A deeper understanding of pedagogy, child development and aspects of learning,
  • Strong foundations to reflect on the impact of your own teaching and your pupils' learning,
  • A teaching qualification that will allow you to teach across the EU and in the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Hong Kong and in English schools around the world,
  • 60 credits at Masters Level allowing you to go on to gain a Masters Degree
Challenges of doing the PGCE

Whilst we believe that doing the PGCE is a very positive experience there are a number of challenges that you will have to face:

  • There will be 3 pieces of academic work to complete for January, March and May of your academic training year - these will be ~5,000 word assignments,
  • You will have to read, study and write these assignment. This will take significant time on top of your other workload of lesson preparation, teaching and marking,
  • Whilst support will be given you will have to work on your own and be very self-motivated during this time,
  • There is no guarantee that you will pass the course.
What does a PGCE cover?

The PGCE is a very concentrated and focussed course and the above should not stop when you are in your induction year and beyond.

Pedagogy: This covers the core of subject knowledge and also pedagogic knowledge about learning Shulman (1987) called this Pedagogic Content Knowledge). It also covers the ideas about philosophies of education.

Praxis: The doing of teaching is very important as this interplay between theory and the "hands-on" practice is a balance which should impact on both.

Psychology: We are dealing with the complex entities called children (!) and so we need to know something about how they work and how they have got to the point they are at.

Research: There has been a wealth of research into the above areas and we need to have the tools to explore the research and make critical decisions about this research.

Reference

Shulman, L. S. (1987). Knowledge and teaching: Foundations of the new reform, Harvard Educational Review, 57, 1-22.

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