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PhD - thinking of teaching

Discussion in 'Thinking of teaching' started by Louise789, Jan 7, 2011.

  1. I have a BA in Archaeology, MSc in Environmental Archaeology and am in the last year of my PhD. I have been considering applying for a PGCE and have previous experience of working with Primary and Secondary school children. I would like to teach either Geography or History, and teachers have told me that in schools they work in, many staff have to teach both.
    My PhD covers a lot of geographical topics and 19th century History. I am concerned that I may not be considered for a PGCE course because I do not have a History or Geography undergraduate degree. I am also concerned because one teacher has told me that having a PhD would be considered a negative when applying for teaching posts, and schools would rather have a History or Geography graduate.
    I know that some PGCE courses (Cambridge, for example) do take Archaeology graduates and that the RGS considers Archaeology an appropriate first degree for a Geography teacher. Despite this, as I cannot move and can only apply to my 3 nearest universities (my own university doesn't run PGCE courses), my opportunities are somewhat limited.
    I was hoping someone would advise me about their experiences of applying with a non-curriculum subject, or give their honest opinions about teachers having a PhD and about teachers without a straight History/Geography degree. I have considered gaining degree level credits in Geography by distance learning while working after my PhD, but feel this might make me look like I have taken a ridiculous number of qualifications.
  2. Sillow

    Sillow Lead commenter

    I have a Combined BA in Dance and Film Studies and yet teach in a primary school. I can't speak for individual universities, but mine didn't seem worried about my choice of degree at all. Having the experience in schools will be very useful, as well as a passion for the subject. As for having a PhD, I don't know myself as I don't have one, but I'm really not sure why a uni or school would be put off by someone having a PhD. After all, a lot of schools are encouraging NQTs to gain an MA, so they can't be scared of extra qualifications!
    I say apply anyway!
  3. I have a PhD in chemistry and haven't found a negative response from schools at all. There have been a few PhDs through my school, mainly maths and science but we had one in history a few years back. Some teachers can have a bit of a chip on their shoulder about people with PhDs but I've not found any schools where that is an issue with the management.

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