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Subject knowledge outside of specialism

Discussion in 'Science' started by HayMoo88, Aug 14, 2011.

  1. Hi all,


    I'm starting my PGCE in September in Science, specialising in Biology. I have a degree in Applied and Human Biology and my A Levels are in Biology, English, Art and General Studies with and AS in Maths.
    I've done a Physics knowledge enhancement course over the summer at my university, but still feel like i need more Physics and Chemistry knowledge to feel confident enough to teach them too, and maybe a qualification to back this up? Does it look bad to schools if i don't have another science A Level? I don't want to limit my chances of getting a job.
    What's the best way to do this? Does anyone know of any courses? Or should i just get a GCSE textbook and teach myself??
    Thanks! :)
     
  2. Hi all,


    I'm starting my PGCE in September in Science, specialising in Biology. I have a degree in Applied and Human Biology and my A Levels are in Biology, English, Art and General Studies with and AS in Maths.
    I've done a Physics knowledge enhancement course over the summer at my university, but still feel like i need more Physics and Chemistry knowledge to feel confident enough to teach them too, and maybe a qualification to back this up? Does it look bad to schools if i don't have another science A Level? I don't want to limit my chances of getting a job.
    What's the best way to do this? Does anyone know of any courses? Or should i just get a GCSE textbook and teach myself??
    Thanks! :)
     
  3. phlogiston

    phlogiston Lead commenter

    Royal Society of chemistry offers subject enhancement courses which involve (I think) 3 two day courses. Thier website will probably tell you more.
    I would advise reading vigorously and to more depth than you find in modern GCSE texts. I would also advise reading magazines like New Scientist / focus / scientific American, as well as joining the ASE and reading their journals. The RSC posts stuff out to schools every couple of month, find out who gets it and try to borrow it once they've finished. Newspapers also often have useful articles about modern applications, although sadly the Guardian's coverage is much diminished.
    Best wishes,
    P
     
  4. lozza_bozza

    lozza_bozza New commenter

    Hey,
    I have just completed my PGCE and felt the same about my subject area as you are. I am a biologist but too be honest teaching chemistry and physics at GCSE has not been as difficult as I previously thought.
    My bible to get me through at the moment is the CGP books for each of the 3 sciences (found on ebay or amazon for cheap), where I can read up on things quickly and easily.
    Hope you enjoy your year :) teaching is the best thing you could ever do
     
  5. 2 science A-levels does make you more marketable to schools but it would be hard to get an A-level in on top of a PGCE. You could take an OU module perhaps? Not sure when they enrol or whether you would have most of it done before the PGCE starts? As mentioned by a previous poster the RSC do an excellent course called 'chemistry for non specialists' which is highly regarded by schools. It supports you to teach up to KS4. If you want to go about improving your subject knowledge yourself then I second not just using the revision guides and getting decent textbooks like the 'for you' series eg, chemistry for you.
     
  6. The OU physics course is very good, but their courses mostly don't start until either Oct or Feb and are not cheap either! Plus in theory, you need to commit 16 hours a week to it (I didn't put anything like that in). There are monthly assignments through the year and a really quite evil exam in the june....
    I would highy recommend the national science learning centre 'Physics for non-specialists' course, but this is for qualified teachers. It did come with a full bursary to the school to cover costs, but who knows whether that will still apply.
    As well as textbooks, look at the GCSE specs to get an idea of what needs to be taught, and how 'How Science works' links in
     

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