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PGCE Interview.

Discussion in 'History' started by carlroberts935, Jun 1, 2019.

  1. carlroberts935

    carlroberts935 New commenter

    I have an interview for a PGCE in Secondary History very soon.
    I've had two interviews previously, but was rejected, so I want to make sure I ace this one!
    The selection day will be in two distinct parts, and after the morning session only those that have met all the selection criteria will be asked to stay for a personal interview.

    The first part consists of three main tasks:
    1. An individual timed written task, in which you will be asked to assess and comment on a piece of written work from a Key Stage 3 student.
    2. A presentation task Choose a historical topic that particularly interests you, and that you think would be of interest to young people in schools and would be valuable for their learning of history. It is better to choose a topic that is not routinely taught in schools. The historical time period can be as long as you like. You should then plan a five-minute presentation, through which you are going to teach your audience about your topic. You are teaching us as a group of adults, not placing us in the role of school students, but in conveying the history you are teaching us, you should make it very clear how the topic would be relevant, engaging and accessible for students aged 13- 15.
    3. A short group discussion about two accounts of a historical event, which will be given to you on the day.

    If I meet the undisclosed criteria in those three tasks, the second part of the day will consist of a one-on-one interview.

    Of course I have been doing research and preparation myself, but as my teacher training adviser is currently away on business, I was hoping someone here could provide advice or tips on how to ace the interview day.

    Thank you for any help!
  2. NIHistoryTeacher

    NIHistoryTeacher New commenter

    How do you assess and comment on a piece of work before you've been trained to know what a good piece looks like? In 1999 mine was a 20 minute chat - and that was a good College.
  3. varcolac

    varcolac Occasional commenter

    Don't worry about grading it unless you've been given a markscheme (you probably won't be), worry about what they've done that's praiseworthy and how they could improve. This should in some way if it's KS3 be related to the key concepts of the History national curriculum - change, continuity, cause, consequence, similarity, difference, significance, etc. Typical things to look out for would be descriptive rather than analytical writing, in which case they need to explain why these historical details answer a particular question, or a lack of precision of detail, in which case they need to add some facts.
    Make it short. Make it snappy. Practice it. Pick something that not only interests you but would be interesting to others, and make sure you can give a good chat about it. I presented at my interview on the Meiji Restoration and the Satsuma Rebellion (Japan in the mid-nineteenth century) - something which not only interests me, but something which is also evocative and provokes thought. Remember your audience - they're not interested in the minutiae of every single event, but how it would in broad strokes (remember, you only have five minutes) be relevant, engaging and accessible for KS3-4 students.

    A lot of it is based on your ability to convey those three things well through your presentation, rather than your choice of topic. A gentleman on my interview day had a fascinating topic which was incredibly relevant to inner-city London schoolchildren. However he meandered and muttered and told us so many statistics that by the end of his five minutes (which seemed more like fifteen) I had lost any passion that I may have originally had for it. So practice. Inflict your presentation on friends and loved ones until it is as well-delivered as a David Attenborough documentary.
    Historiography! How are you on your Marxists versus traditionalists, your Carlyle versus Lefebvre, your intentionalism versus your functionalism? It's probably not going to be anything too specific, but expect to impress by talking about reasons for difference, utility of each account, and extent of difference.

    It'll likely be about your reasons for wanting to become a history teacher, what you can bring to the profession, what you think are the most important issues in history education. That's up to you. There are a very limited amount of "wrong" answers to those questions.

    Good luck!

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