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PGCE Science (Biology) or Geography?

Discussion in 'Thinking of teaching' started by nh81, Dec 6, 2010.

  1. Hello,
    I'm currently seriously considering signing up for a secondary PGCE. However I was wondering if people could advise on which subject might be more relevant for my qualifications? I have been searching for one which would offer a combination, but the University of Bath have recently withdrawn 2 courses which may have fitted this category.
    A Level: Biology, Chemistry, Geography
    Degree: BSc Biology and Geography
    PhD: Physical Geography (Palaeoecology)
    I have a keen interest in ecology and the environment, and in climate change (past as well as present). I am currently undertaking RHS Level 2 (Horticulture - lots of plant biology).
    I wonder if I do a PGCE in one (Science or Geography) would it be possible to teach a few classes in the other subject once I have finished the PGCE and NQT years?
    Many thanks for your time and any advice you can offer.
  2. leadlearner

    leadlearner New commenter

    Good for you. Think about which you would prefer teaching, you will probably need to plump for one in training, though you may be able to teach one as an additional subject on your placement. Once you are qualified as a teacher yes you can teach other subjects, although most teachers stick to a main subject. From a job market perspective I would plump for Science as Science teachers appear in greater demand and you will, I believe find it easier to find a post. You can also offer flexibility with Geography. These are just my thoughts, but good luck,[​IMG]
  3. It would be easier for you to do this if you undertook a science or biology PGCE as you would then be trained in all the practicals that you would need to do as a science teacher. A geography PGCE would teach you to be a classroom based teacher, not a laboratory based teacher. I teach some geography this year, I have a PhD in chemistry but I dropped geography at age 14! You'll find ecology on the A-level biology specifications eg, succession, sampling and the associated data analysis and climate change occurs in the physics areas as we discuss the science of the greenhouse effect there.
  4. primenumbers

    primenumbers New commenter

    Job prospect for science is better. Although for Biology, it is not as good as Chemistry or Physics. Just bear in mind that you will have to teach all 3 subjects up to KS4. Also once qualified, you can offer another subject, which is always a bonus for schools so if I was you, I'd definitely go for Biology.
  5. When you train to teach at secondary level, you are usually expected to choose one subject to specialise in. Once you have completed your training and gained qualified teacher status, you are effectively qualified to teach any phase or subject. The needs of your school will then determine whether you are able to teach both science and geography.
    For specific advice on the subject you are most suited to training in, I suggest that you contact the course providers you would consider applying to. You can find courses and providers via the GTTR website www.gttr.ac.uk.
    I hope this helps.
    Graham Holley
  6. Many thanks all. Your advice is greatly appreciated. I have applied for a PGCE in Science (Biology) and now have to hope somewhere wants me on their course!
    Thanks for your time

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