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Are PGCE coursesdoing anything tostop the exodus of NQT's?

Discussion in 'Education news' started by Maths_Shed, Jan 15, 2016.

  1. Maths_Shed

    Maths_Shed Occasional commenter

    I did my PGCE over ten years ago and didn't really think it was fit for purpose in the 21st century. I still don't think it was and from what I have heard very little has changed.

    Twenty years ago it would have been impossible for every PGCE student to be given a full set of resources as it would have been hugely expensive and would have taken up a huge amount of space. As such it was important for students to be trained on how to prepare lessons, write SoWs etc.

    We can now put all the resources you could ever need on a USB stick costing a couple of quid, so why haven't the courses changed to provide PGCE students with digital copies of lesson plans, flipcharts to go with them and a course that concentrates on how to use them? Lesson planning, flipchart writing, SoW writing can all be dealt with as part of CPD training.

    If one of the main reasons for NQT's leaving is workload, wouldn't it make sense to be giving them the lessons? It would also stop their mentors having to review the resources and plans prior to the lesson being taught. Concentrate on the important stuff and everyone's a winner.
    silverfell85 likes this.
  2. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Expecting ITTs to give lesson plans &c to their students is like expecting turkeys to vote for Christmas.
    sabrinakat likes this.
  3. Twinklefoottoe

    Twinklefoottoe Senior commenter

    Funny, but was thinking the same thing. PGCE training has become a confusing pigs ear these days, with too many routes to qualification of dubious quality. Certainly at my last school, there were constant rumblings that those dumped on to be a mentor were not given the time needed to support their trainees properly. The important stuff, like crowd control, dealing with stress and personal well-being always took a backseat. Everyone was a loser, as they say.
  4. JL48

    JL48 Star commenter

    Are you kidding? Teachers should be able to do more than just deliver other people's resources! It's like saying that we shouldn't train chefs to cook, as they can just buy everything frozen, or pre-packaged.

    Are you even a real teacher? Even if you do use textbooks, other people's resources etc. you should be adapting them to the needs of your students. Preparation and understanding of resources is one of the key skills that any ITT course should teach.
    yasf, Toosh2013, snowyhead and 2 others like this.
  5. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    ScotSEN and FrankWolley like this.
  6. Maths_Shed

    Maths_Shed Occasional commenter

    Yes I am a real teacher are you?

    Given the choice I wouldn't use many of the text books available and I have produced stacks of resources and use them almost exclusively. I simply think the most important thing is to learn how to teach and everything else will follow over the years. We have a situation where NQT's are leaving the profession because their work/life balance is not acceptable yet we could save them tens of hours per week in planning time. Makes no sense to me.
    Landofla likes this.
  7. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    I agree with you, @Maths_Shed, that sometimes handmade resources are preferable to the blurring buzzing confusion that many maths textbooks bind but, leaving aside the redundancy of much ITT if your idea were implemented, then where shall we stop? Shall we do our students' homework for them to save them time?
  8. JL48

    JL48 Star commenter

    Absolutely - but the answer is not to make planning an optional part of ITT. The three most important parts of teaching are planning, teaching and assessing. Surely those parts should be nonnegotiable.
    I'm a mentor for a student teacher at the moment, and one of the key ways that I assess their understanding of student learning is through their planning, creation and manipulation of resources.
    yasf likes this.
  9. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Most of the paper required as planning by ITT and their toady teachers is complete balls. If you know your subject and can hold attention while explaining it then there's no need to be accounting for your intentions and actions every moment in front of a class.
    silverfell85, snowyhead and Landofla like this.
  10. monicabilongame

    monicabilongame Star commenter

    That might work for maths - every school learns the same maths stuff.

    It certainly wouldn't work for other subjects such as the humanities or English, DT etc. - those subjects need far more planning and adjusting to the topic being taught, the ability of the children etc.
    cissy3 likes this.
  11. Maths_Shed

    Maths_Shed Occasional commenter

    Planning is essentially following a scheme of work so if you have to teach a topic that has a sequence of lessons a, b then c what is wrong with using planning time to learn how to use the outstanding resources to deliver lessons a, b and c ? Surely better than spending your time producing mediocre resources?
    Landofla likes this.
  12. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    You'd think it, yes, but Year7s grow increasingly dim as the years roll on, each new cohort festooned with new SEN labels for which we're expected to hoop-jump.
  13. Maths_Shed

    Maths_Shed Occasional commenter

    Why wouldn't it work for other subjects? If you are given a full set of outstanding resources then adapting them will take less time than writing from scratch and would be of a higher standard. Time can then be taken to understand and prepare for delivery.
    Landofla likes this.
  14. PaulDG

    PaulDG Occasional commenter

    This is a parody, right?

    All this reinventing the wheel is a huge contributor to the workload crisis - which is ultimately why so many teachers quit.

    ITT courses should be teaching teachers to smell the BS; to know how to cripple the snake-oil salesperson in INSET sessions with carefully placed, well followed up questions about the validity of the 'research' underpinning their new fad. They should be teaching trainees that poor behaviour isn't the result of poor teaching - the relationship is the other way round. They should be teaching trainees how to look out for the sort of management who will cosy up to the 'troubled children' and sell their staff down the river.

    Actually teaching some subject knowledge wouldn't hurt either. Many young teachers went through a content-lite education themselves and don't actually know how to work out a percentage without a calculator with a percentage key, or that we really did stand on the brink of total annihilation for a while and that if you actually do know something, you can function even when the Internet is down.
    snowyhead, Maths_Shed and Vince_Ulam like this.
  15. JL48

    JL48 Star commenter

    No, it's not.
    Obviously you beg, borrow or steal resources as a teacher. Making everything from scratch would be a colossal waste of time. Hence the popularity of the resources side of this website.
    However, to say that learning how to plan / write SoW appropriately and make resources that are adapted to your learners is a waste of time / not appropriate to the PGCE is dumbing down ITT, much in the way as many argue that school qualifications have been dumbed down.
    For sure, you can argue that the PGCE requirements are insane / over the top / irrelevant to real teaching, but that is not the same as saying that student teachers shouldn't learn how to create effective resources. If nothing else it helps them differentiate between what is on offer.
    yasf likes this.
  16. palmtree100

    palmtree100 Lead commenter

    A bit of both. Of course teachers need to know how to plan a series of lessons. If plans and resources are to be provided I'd say this is the job of the individual schools. In primary I've seen planning shared - one teacher in the year group will do maths, one English etc. and then each teacher adapts it and tweaks it. I've also seen schools in a cluster share planning. It's nice to have it but sometimes restrictive if you don't agree with someone else's ideas and methods. You can't adapt it if you haven't been taught how to plan a learning sequence. For me part of the fun of teaching was designing and creating the lesson. Once you've done it you can use it again with future classes, improving and tweaking each time.
    silverfell85, JL48 and Landofla like this.
  17. JL48

    JL48 Star commenter

    Not sure if it is clear from my posts, but I agree with you entirely.
    yasf likes this.
  18. Maths_Shed

    Maths_Shed Occasional commenter

    I assume you can drive a car but do you need to know how one is made?

    Why not? Surely if you teach a lesson and reflect on it afterwards you will find what works for you, then go on and make the change. It is a skill that can be acquired on the job through CPD.

    With c3500 secondary schools in the UK, you are suggesting that 3500x more planning needs to take place than is required. This is far greater at primary level. One person can plan and produce a subjects resources for the whole country and probably to a higher standard than is currently the case.
  19. JL48

    JL48 Star commenter

    No. It is a skill that can be built on, and refined in CPD, but any decent ITT would have it as an integral part.
    yasf likes this.
  20. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    I'm not intending to diminish your arguments, but are you a teacher? You don't seem to know how ITT and schools generally work with respect to lesson planning.

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