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Do you need a Maths degree to teach Maths

Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by soapy bubbles, Jun 16, 2006.

  1. Probably a really silly question, but I'm a primary teacher with no idea what goes on in secondary schools.

    My other half has a science masters, A at Alevel Maths, is a Chartered Accountant and a Chartered tax advisor. Not surprisingly she wants to quit before she dies of boredom. The only subject she would really like to teach is Maths. Can she train as a Maths teacher without a Maths degree?
     
  2. Probably a really silly question, but I'm a primary teacher with no idea what goes on in secondary schools.

    My other half has a science masters, A at Alevel Maths, is a Chartered Accountant and a Chartered tax advisor. Not surprisingly she wants to quit before she dies of boredom. The only subject she would really like to teach is Maths. Can she train as a Maths teacher without a Maths degree?
     
  3. No prob!!! Do a BEd Hons accelerated course! Two years and you are in!
     
  4. Surely with a Masters in Science probably all is need is a PGCE - one year...
     
  5. PGCE or GTP

    So many maths teacher do not have maths degrees

    A science degree is probably closer than mant I have worked with
     
  6. flymaths

    flymaths New commenter

    I was a Chartered Tax Advisor and I'm now teaching Maths (after completing the GTP scheme) so I would say go for it!
     
  7. Maths_Mike

    Maths_Mike New commenter

    Lucky if you get someone with any kind of qualifications ket alone a maths degree or QTS!
     
  8. squattingmouse

    squattingmouse New commenter

    Graduate Engineer here..... Any reasonably good qualification in maths, physics, accounting, engineering or another mathematical field should do.
     
  9. If you know your times tables, you can teach up to GCSE...
     
    armandine2 likes this.
  10. lol.
     
  11. I think you should have clarified just which times tables Dr Watson!!

    As for the original question, any degree with 50% maths content or over is generally fine to get on a PGCE course. With your experience from the outside world, and sufficient maths knowledge, you could make maths really interesting for the students.

    To be an effective maths teacher, you really need a strong background in maths. I have met too many maths teachers that have poor subject knowledge. It doesn't take the students long to work this out and they lose any respect for you as a teacher (and lets face it, respect is hard enough to earn as it is).
     
  12. Maths_Mike

    Maths_Mike New commenter

    I agree totally with Bart12 but frankly do to the desperate shortgae of maths teachers just about anyone who is willing/stupid enough can get a job these days
     
  13. I'm going to start a Primary PGCE in September, but I'd really like to teach Maths up to GCSE. My degree is in History, however, and I can't really afford to do a conversion course. I've got A-Level Maths (only a C, could have been better) and was wondering if maybe doing the Diploma in "Graduate Mathematics Education" with the OU after my PGCE would be sufficient. Does anybody have experience with that course? Or would it be better to do a second degree with the OU?
     
  14. frustum

    frustum Lead commenter

    It probably depends where you are: where there's a shortage, the A-level plus QTS will probably be enough. The OU course is pitched precisely at people teaching maths who haven't done maths PGCE, and would be well worth doing; I would reckon it more useful than a second degree.
     
  15. I originally trained as a primary maths teacher. I didn't have a maths degree. When however I began teaching in the secondary school my head of department said that it was essential. So I began and completed an Open University course in mathematics (be careful it becomes addictive). he was right as I found out more and more I became more confident in the classroom and knew where things were going. I also found it made me tremendously enthusiastic which flitered through to my teaching. But it was hard work and had to be fitted around fanily and teaching committments. so I think you can start to teach secondary maths without so long as you have A Level, but I do feel that it is essential to take the mathematics to the next level.
     
  16. Thanks both of you for your answers. :) I guess I will have a further look at the diploma then and hopefully be able to start it some time next year. :) Would anyone actually employ me without a Maths PGCE or degree, though? As far as I've understood the specifications of the diploma, I would have to work with students at KS3 while doing it.
    Mathagony Aunt, did you do a BEd or something similar? My PGCE doesn't give me the opportunity to specialise in any subject. But you are right, I will try to get qualifications at a higher level. I wouldn't feel confident enough otherwise, I guess. :)

    Thanks again,
    Dejana
     
  17. A history graduate, starting a Primary PGCE, who wants to teach maths at GCSE with no more than a grade C at A level. Do you really know what you want to do?
     
  18. frustum

    frustum Lead commenter

    Depending on how desperate they are, yes, there are some schools who would employ you without a maths PGCE or degree to teach KS3/4 maths.

    For the diploma, you need access to some learners of maths at KS2/3/4, so if you start off teaching primary you can use KS2 pupils.

    The OU maths courses are great, but the maths education courses in the diploma are probably more directly relevant to start with, particularly for KS3 and lower KS4. Once you've done those, you might want to go on and do some maths ones, especially if you've enjoyed OU study.
     
  19. frustum: Thanks for that, that's really helpful. I was a bit unsure whether I would have to have a job teaching KS3. If KS2 is alright then that's brilliant. :) Thanks a lot.
     
  20. My first qualification was a Certificate of Education in Mathematics (I did have A'Level mathematics)didn't work hard enough on the B'Ed course! . I originally trained as a primary teacher. My first postion in school was with this qualification. When you begin OU degree they make sure that the ground work is good. The courses are so well prepared and monitored that you learn alot about teaching the maths as well.
    But I also had a fantastic head of department Kevin Pankhurst, a very talented teacher himself as well as very forward thinking and this was inspirational. He would make sure that NQT teachers had enough time observing lessons and if you were nervous of any topic then he would always have time to discuss approaches with you. I can remember watching him teach bottom set fourth year (Year 10) about odd and even numbers, he had them jumping out of their seats with excitement. So a good grounding and seeing real quality teaching is an excellent recipe for success.
     

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