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Advice sought!

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by brookes, Feb 10, 2011.

  1. You could do a maths enhancement course to bring you up to speed for a PGCE maths. (I bet you'll want to stay a maths teacher after you qualify).
  2. I think you'll need to do a conversion course. Some are a 9 months (effectively an academic year) and some are 6 months (Jan - summer). When you get accepted for one you are guaranteed a place on a PGCE course starting the September after it finished.
    I teach students on these courses and my impression is that they come out as much, much stronger mathematicians and teachers at the end of them. The pace of learning speeds up so there is a lot of extra benefit in doing 9 months as by the last term you're learning at a heck of a speed.
    We teach enriched A-level, Further Maths and First year maths degree standard work, picking topics which embed the core top end GCSE and early A-level techniques.
    The first thing the students realise is that when they passed A-level maths they only had to be able to do any particular technique one way, but to teach well at top end GCSE/A-level standard they need to be confident with many routes through each problem so that they can tune into where any particular student is coming from.
    Even if you can get a place on a PGCE, which I don't think you can, you're going to struggle to compete with the trainee teachers who have done the enhancement course when it comes to getting a job.

  3. bbibbler

    bbibbler New commenter

    You may be seen as a better choice than somebody who has wasted a year doing MM maths.

    Of course, you and the MM maths people will be seen as second best to those who have a maths degree
  4. GoldMaths

    GoldMaths New commenter


    The advice above is completely wrong.

    I have a Economics Degree and my subject knowledge of Mathematics was tested however the logic enforced by studying Economics and undoubtedly the Statistics you would have done (thinking eViews or econometrics and game theory) will hold you in very good stead.

    During PGCE I done AS Mathematics. During NQT Year done A2. Now in third year doing Further Mathematics and planning to do STEP tests next. If you are enthusiastic and you have time to push your subject knowledge then you will be fine, I have strangely enjoyed being a learner as well as being a teacher.

    I would be surprised if it didnt come to you extremely quickly you wouldnt be learning it more revising. Good Luck in any case.
  5. All clear now then! [​IMG]
    Proably best to phone the institutions you're considering studying at directly!
    If you're dead set on Economics wouldn't Business Studies be a more relevant PGCE?
  6. GoldMaths

    GoldMaths New commenter

    The business studies is a joke (sorry any business teachers) in comparison to Economics.

    The only places offering Economics are large Sixth Forms or Grammar Schools it is not a dying subject but sadly as Colleges and Schools chase exam results people are very aware that Economics IS difficult. I would suggest you head down the Mathematics route if you are the interested in teaching Economics apply for a school that offers it very unlikely to get a post that is 100% timetable Economics.
  7. Suprisingly you think wrong.
    People are accepted on teacher training courses based on a wide range of criteria which can vary hugely based on the provider and the candidate
    To the original poster, have a look at the GTP route also
  8. Thanks for all of the helpful replies, I never expected to get so much advice so soon! As it happens this morning I am going into a school to observe so business stds lessons. The problem with this subject, as a previous poster mentioned earlier, it is seen as an easier subject and one which is likely to go down a more vocational avenue in the future.
    It would seem like the conversion course would probably be my best option. However, as I plan to teach overseas for a year or two prior to starting, I was really interested in finding a course which I might be able to do whilst I
  9. am away. As previous posters suggested, I will get in touch with course providers and see if anything fits the bill.
    Thanks again,

  10. I studied Economics as a pupil and what a shame that it has faded the way it has, what a wonderful subject.

    Having seen the amount of stats that friends did as part of their Economics degrees I think that you will have little difficulty in picking up enough maths to be able to teach the subject.

    In my department we have teachers who have engineering and business degrees, both bring a great deal to the party and aside from an occasional question have had no problems in delivering maths up to A level.

    Wishing you all the best and I can only concur with what others have said, once you try out teaching maths you won't look back!
  11. Nazard

    Nazard New commenter

    This ought, in my opinion, to be the key thing for departments when they are appointing new teachers. It is great to have someone in the dept who did significant amounts of Stats, someone who was previously a scientist, an engineer, a former PE teacher, as well as a few mathematicians. Then ideas can be shared and different perspectives developed.
    So from this point of view, teachers without a strict mathematical background are still really important to a dept.
    The problem for many depts, though, is finding anyone at all with enough maths knowledge. In some schools there is no-one with a maths degree, or even with A-level maths in the whole dept.
  12. We are very fortunate in having a good mix of staff in terms of skills, experience and teaching styles. There have been a good number of staff come and go just in the few years I have been in my current school so it's really remarkable that we have managed to retain this despite the throughput of staff.

    In some cases, those with different backgrounds have actually done more in a particular area then the maths grads, e.g. the original question was from an economics grad who might well have done more stats than someone doing a pure maths degree.

    My own strength was in pure maths but I made a point of offering to teach across the board at 'A' level so as to gain experience of all the modules. It's always a bit surprising when maths grads refuse to teach a particular branch.

    I do agree with Nazard, it is becoming increasingly difficult to recruit staff with Maths degrees. So, in summary, for someone with an economics degree, particularly with a reasonable stats content, I wouldn't have thought it would pose too many problems either teaching maths or getting a maths job.

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