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Course content

The programme develops trainees' school experiences in order to explore some of the wider concers of Biology and Science teachers today, and provides opportunities to broaden professional experiences. There are sessions that are particularly important for Biology teachers: teaching ethics, teaching evolution and handling controversial issues such as intelligent design and teaching reproduction.

An effective Biology teacher must also develop his/her pedagogical subject knowledge specifically related to teaching Biology; for example, the effective use of practical work in Biology, the teaching and learning of key Biology ideas, and the teaching and learning of Biology beyond the classroom. Sessions are provided that focus on these areas for Biologists as well as other sessions in the other two Sciences. Subject knowledge is provided via a peer teaching programme.

Teaching and learning

Participation in the PGCE course is an active process. Although there are lectures and presentations, much of the course centres on workshops, seminars and school and classroom activities.

Activities emphasise team work and require trainees to share the responsibility for their learning.

Throughout the course, trainees are given guidance and support by mentors in school as well as their university tutors.

Assessment

The practical teaching requirements and formal written assignments are designed not just to provide evidence that trainees have reached the required Teachers' Standards but also as useful learning activities in themselves. Assessment is continuous, across all aspects of the course.

Trainees complete 3 Masters level assignments (60 Masters level credits).

Our secondary PGCE programmes prepare trainees to teach across the 11-16 age range. As part of the Post-16 Enhancement we offer trainees a range of experiences to develop their knowledge, understanding and skills for teaching at Post 16.

Course aims

The primary aim of the course is to enable trainees to meet the Teachers Standards and be recommended for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) . The course also aims to encourage trainees to examine, in a critical but constructive way, the current educational system and practice.

The intention is that trainees should become skilled members of the teaching profession, able to make a full contribution to educational debate and innovations of the future.

The programme is assessed at Masters (M) level.

Visit the Biology - PGCE page on the University of York website for more details!

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