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Secondary school teacher, D&T product/graphic design Q's

Discussion in 'Design and technology' started by mrkra, Feb 12, 2011.

  1. Hi everyone,
    I've been thinking about making the move from company/freelance design work into D&T teaching for a little while now, but have a few questions that I could use some answers for.
    I understand the PGCE route in order to get into teaching and everything that entails (I think), but after looking over various university websites and prospectuses I can't seem to find a clear and concise answer to the following question: There are 5 areas of D&T within schools from my understanding (food, textiles, woodwork, electronics and graphics/product design) but no matter which uni I look at, they only run four D&T PGCE's, excluding the graphics aspect funnily enough. So what I'm asking is, how exactly do you become a graphics teacher?
    From what I've read thus far, over the span of a D&T PGCE there's a requirement to cover your primary subject area, as well as a secondary subject. Does this mean I would have to do the PGCE in one of the other subject areas and then specialise in graphics once qualified? This is what I can't seem to find a solid answer to.
    But then I was thinking about my school/college/uni teachers and they solely did graphics, so surely there must be a way into it?
    Thanks in advance,
  2. D&T as a subject changes virtually every month, and with the governments views on education, it might not even exist soon!! However..

    Don't call 'Resistant Materials' Woodwork!!, you'll not even get an interview.

    Having said all that, there are many other branches of Technology, Manufacturing, Engineering, Systems and Control, Hospitality, Catering to name but a few. As a teacher, I am paid to teach, I am not a subject specific teacher. So, at KS3 you could be expected to teach some or all areas of Technology, same at KS4. I do teach mainly Graphic Products, but if the kids don't choose it, then I have to teach something else.

    Many schools are now moving to Product Design because it allows schools to teach to the strengths of their staff and to the interests of the kids.

    So, back to your question, yes you would teach 60% of your main subject and 40% of your second subject, this would also be split into 60/40 at 2 different KS's, usually KS3 and KS4. But, if the schools can't fit this into their timetable, you have to adapt and fit in with what they can provide. Once qualified, you can look to see what schools require, but I would say for pure Graphics, you will be lucky to teach more than 3 groups at GCSE, possibly 9 lessons from a teaching timetable of 22 periods, the rest will be KS3 and possibly GCE once you get established, but even here, the course is likely to be Product Design.

    Good luck, and if you happen to want a school in East Yorkshire, get in touch.
  3. littlemissraw

    littlemissraw Occasional commenter

    My PGCE course stipulated all teachers must be able to do Graphics and must have 2 other subject areas (between RM, Food, Textiles, Systems & Control)
    I strongly suggest you keep your design work going as as an unemployed teacher I have just started my own design company up!
    In my first teaching year I taught food, graphics, RM & ICT so you need to be flexible. Good Luck on whatever you decide xx
  4. Thanks for the reply.
    Sorry, I still seem to be with my old school habbit of "woodwork" and "graphics" as short. During my secondary education it was infact product design though - need to get my wording right!
    I had heard there was a great demand for D&T teachers currently? In saying that, I see what you mean about the current government.
    So basically, if I went ahead with it all, I would do a PGCE in one of the other D&T areas. Then later teach what was needed at any specific time. Definatley a lot different to what I first thought.
  5. littlemissraw

    littlemissraw Occasional commenter

    There is a higher demand for RM/Product design teachers. I've seen a few for Graphics recently though.
    You just complete a PGCE in Secondary Design & Technology and then you can look for a job in any of the specialisms (or even another subject altogether!) Once you have QTS you don't have to stay within your trained subject although you will need to show some experience in order to get a post.
    Hope it hasn't put you off, it can be a fabulous career but again I'd keep up the freelancing as much as you can manage until you have a secure post following your NQT. x
  6. Hmm, I wouldn't say put me off. Just a little more thinking to do before jumping into it. The Product Design would be much better suited as opposed to being forced into teaching several different subject classes. When I say graphics, I mean product design as well as graphics though^^
    I do like the sound of being able to move around somewhat after getting QTS though!
    My original idea was to continue with the freelance work as much as possible while doing the PGCE, as well as afterwards, along with passive designing. Wondering how well that will hold true though as the more I read, the busier a teachers life sounds.
    Thanks so much for the replies though. Helped a great deal in clearing up my concerns
  7. Several issues there. The PGCE has only four routes as far as I am aware; these are materials technology, systems and control, food and textiles. It is expected that all teachers of D&T can demonstrate graphical skills. You are expected to be able to teach one to A level and contribute to a second area at KS3. There is no specific training for graphic products and that should send a clear message as to how that area of D&T is viewed by the powers above.
    As for training, we were a shortage subject. However, I heard last week that we are no longer one and PGCE students will no longer receive a bursary. This would mean paying to train rather than being paid to (should sort out the serious candidates). I also heard that PGCE places for D&T at the biggest training institution were being slashed by 40% this year. If this is actually the case, and I have been unable to confirm this although my source is well connected then this is a clear signal about our future. DATA figures suggest that we are a rapidly aging cohort of teachers and if they are reducing the numbers coming into the profession then someone somewhere appears to have a grand plan. We really should be worried about this and we should be using DATA to fight our corner. Assuming that there is a subject called D&T in five years time then we do have some major problems looming up and they are the only ones watching our back It amazes me that all D&T teachers are not members and £65 a year relates to half a pint of lager a week and I would urge everyone to support our professional association.
    Look at how entry numbers nationally have dropped at GCSE over recent years. Only Product Design is growing but even that does not come close to accounting for the drop. Do we want to go back to being the ones shoved away at the back of the school and sent the noddys to occupy? So if you are serious mrkra then its the best job in the world but it aint going to be an easy ride!
  8. The last I read concerning D&T bursaries was that they were joint highest in terms of amount, this could've obviously changed since though. I don't really agree with what you said about sorting out the serious candidates mind - you can be serious if you have enough to cover yourself for a year while you train. If you don't, then you might not be serious about the whole thing?

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