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Am I qualified to be accepted on a PGCE Secondary (History) course?

Discussion in 'History' started by Atomicjess, Feb 4, 2011.

  1. Hello - I'd really appreciate some advice.
    I have a degree from Oxford in Classics (specialising in Literature and Philosophy), and since then I've been a history documentary producer, making films on historical subjects for BBC, Channel 4, History Channel, Discovery.
    I am getting mixed messages from course providers - some say that I should consider an open university course or two and others have hinted that I may have to go and do a History Masters.
    I've been a school governor and I'm doing my best to spend as much time as possible in schools between now and my application in Autumn 2011.
    What do you think? Just keen to get on with it, and not waste another year unless I have to!
  2. Only the course providers can answer that question.

    I have found my documentary experience has been highly valued in my school
    (I wasn't a producer - just a lowly freelance researcher ) However my past life means that I find it relatively easy to pick up a new
    history topic, analyse what is needed and quickly start to put teaching plans together - I really think this stems from high pressured
    days in the archives / finding people or 'things' with a deadline to meet! It's also pretty useful for working out what can capture a student's attention and what can maintain
    it! I remember discussing at interview how handy my past career would be for acquiring resources from DVDs to artefacts to finding interesting guest

    In your situation I would complete a history knowledge audit and have a
    look at the current history curriculum and some of the exam boards and then ask to speak to one of the course tutors for some individual
    advice. Good luck! Kiera
  3. Interesting discussion from my point of view. I'm considering applying for Secondary History, but with a degree in archaeology and with nearly 15 years working as a professional archaeologist - and not just digging holes, I might add, but carrying out research into the historical development of sites and landscapes, which requires me gaining a good understanding of a wide variety of historical topics and quickly deciding what is needed to quickly answer the relevant questions, whilst recognising that time is money, as I work in the commercial sector. I've been contacting PGCE providers to test the waters, but have generally been told that my degree and work experience is likely to count for nowt, and that a history degree would be expected, so I take some heart from your experience, Keira.
    I also find it interesting that some providers have suggesting taking OU courses, and that is something that I talk to providers about.
  4. My predecessor in the history department (he was head of History) was an
    archaeologist, with an archaeology degree and ten years working in the field (quite literally in his case!).
    Have you also considered talking to individual schools re: GTP? Some schools do
    seem to value experience over paperwork - I have a good History degree, but I
    was a mature student and had no A levels, which seemed to put a number of
    schools off when I applied for NQT posts. However, I now know that my school
    employed me as I was enthusiastic and passionate about my subject and had real
    experience of the field in the outside world. Don't give up! Kiera
  5. Thanks for the encouraging words - I've no intention of giving up! GTP is a good plan - I shall investigate further, as teaching history is something that I really want to do, and I do think that practical experience of the subject (or one very closely related to it) in the real world is a good selling point to employers. It's just the problem of convincing them of that!
  6. Hi,
    I really hope you get to do what you want and I'm glad you've got some advice. Your main problem of course is that there are far too many history teachers knocking around and we tend to stick in post once we're there...because of the PGCE course in history are shrinking or closing at an alarming rate. This may be why you are getting confusing messages from institutions. This may get better if history becomes flavour of the month again thanks to our lord and masters English Bacc idea. Anyway good luck :)
  7. Keira, 3 out of the 38 students on my Secondary History PGCE course a few years ago had degrees in archaeology, so you should be in with a chance of a place, as should the original poster. Emphasise your historical knowledge and passion for history and give it a go.
  8. Sorry, not Keira - JL!
  9. Lots of courses don't want highly-qualified figures on them. They seem to be much happier with medium level students from medium to lower ranking universities. With Oxford degree in Classics - and a specialization! - you may be out of luck.
  10. I was a student on the History PGCE at Cambridge University School of Education about 10 years ago now. I was, myself, a History Graduate, but there were several with related degrees on the course as I remember. No idea whether the regs have changed at all - I'd try there if I were you, as they definitely DID want highly qualified enthuasiastic specialists.

    Good luck!
  11. Do your PGCE in English or even maths! I'm a recently redundant History teacher...and I've been unemployed now since September, I've applied for every job that's come up recently in Devon and Cornwall...4 so far, all this month, and am sat waiting for the postman every day!
    I'm registered with the 4 supply agencies in Devon and Cornwall, and have had one offer of half a day's work over an hour and a half away.
    I got a First in my History degree, and I've been teaching in a very "tough" school for six years. Now I wonder if I should've bothered! Maybe the Law conversion was the option I should've looked at...but I went into my degree to become a History teacher.
  12. I have a degree from Cambridge in Archaeology and Anthropology and a PGCE from Cambridge teaching History at secondary level. I actually think that I might well be one of the people you referred to Historiana, if so hi!!!!
    I´ve been teaching now for 10 years and have taught in Comps, abroad, Private Schools and a Secure Unit. At no times did my degree hold me back, in fact I actually think it´s helped me in a lot of respects... especially the multi-disiplinary aspects of it (I´m beginning to loose count of the amount of different subjects I´ve taught now).
    Basically I think that it´s all about the ability to teach and the passion for your subject. Picking up the historical knowledge required is a bit of an uphill struggle at first; however as lot of the skills that you pick up from your degree will really stand you in good stead.
    One final note, the market for teaching in History is very competitive, however I think if you´ñve got the skills and the passion and you persevere you´ll get through. My degree has defiantely not held me back and has been seen as quiet an asset in at least 2 of the schools I´ve worked in, both of which are very good schools!
    Hope this helps and gives you hope!

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