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PGCE Post Compulsory - can i do RE and is it worth it??

Discussion in 'Further Education' started by treerobinson, Jul 1, 2011.

  1. Hello all,
    I have been offered an interview to do a PGCE at Edgehill, which I am extremely nervous about. I got my Bsc (hons) Forensic Psychology 2 years ago and it is only personal circumstances that has prevented me applying for teacher training until now. I would love to teach RE but as the course is for post-compulsory education I am a little concerned that RE is not widely taught at PCE level. My other concern is that my degree subject does not relate sufficiently to RE. If I can't do RE I'd like to do English. Although I enjoyed learning psychology I found that the degree course I did was not what I expected it to be so do not wish to teach the subject as my passion for it has almost totally disappeared. Any advice would be much appreciated, thanks
  2. Post 16 teaching qualifications are generic, so technically, you can teach what you like! In fact, some colleges (especially) FE ones absolutely love to employ people like yourself who are more than happy to be a jack of all trades, as you're saving them money on staff recruitment and cover!
    One huge word of warning though! If you're going to teach a subject as a non specialist be aware that not all colleges will give you the necessary time and training to prepare everything from scratch and will give you a rollicking at the end of the year if your success rates etc are low!
    This is why a lot of teachers like myself prefer to teach the subjects that their degree is in! Also, there is an unwritten requirement that although the PGCE is generic, you should also have a qualification at least one level higher than the level of the course that you wish to teach. E.g. Your degree in Psychology qualifies you to teach any Psychology course up to the first year of a Psychology degree course offered in a college (at a push). As RE is related to this, you may get away with teaching that too as a non specialist, if you covered some RE as part of your degree. I'm not so sure about the English though, unless you covered it as part of your degree or have another degree in it or are willing to do another course in it because it is so different to Psychology. Other possible choices in hard pressed colleges would be critical thinking, Sociology and Functional Skills.
    By the way, I'm not an expert on this subject, so I'd check this out with Edgehill as well.
    Hope this post helps and good luck!
  3. Thank you :)
    I have also been talking to a friend who has suggested to me that because my degree is in psychology that i do psychology for my PGCE and do what I need to teach RE in my spare time (yeah, because I will have LOADS of that!). Ultimately I would love to teach adults wishing to return to education because that's what made me want to teach. I was out of education for ten years and left Secondary education with only two C's (both in English), the rest were D's, E's and F's. Then I had a child. When I was 26 I decided that I wanted to go back and get some proper qualifications so enrolled on an Access to Higher Education course and completed my Maths GCSE (which I got a B in) . I loved it! my passion for learning was reignited and I found that I enjoyed helping and encouraging others to reach their goals as well.
    I have been told that one of the things against me is that I don't have any background in teaching and I have never done any shadowing but I have been told by yet another person that my experiences as a mentor at uni and my current volunteering experiences will all count.
    I am soooooo nervous about this interview, and the amount of information out there can be a little overwhelming. Everyone seems to have something different to say. I know it's going to be a lot of hard work but I'm determined now :)
  4. As I said, the PGCE post-compulsory is generic, so if you tell your tutors and mentor or placement co-ordinator that you're happy to teach RE as well (if the college offers it) then there should be no problem.
    Good for you with regard to your reasons for entering teaching! I apologise if my previous e-mail sounded cynical. I LOVE teaching but what I do hate is the way that good teachers and students are treated by some so-called managers and successive governments and are then fobbed off by these people when they rightly protest! I wanted you to be prepared for them!
    By the way, adult teaching is fab (I loved it) but doesn't get much funding, so you may find it more difficult to find work working with adults only for more than a few hours a week, unless you do it in a 6th form or FE college which offers adult courses, such as Access alongside their A-level and vocational Education provision.

    Don't be too nervous (as we both know, some nerves are good)! Edgehill and other teaching Unis want people like you and the fact that you're willing to be flexible with your subject choices should work in your favour as should your experience, as you say!
    Lots of luck!
    I'm sure you'll do very well in the interview!
    Let us know how it goes!


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