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Course content

Description

The PGCE Secondary is the first phase of a career-long process of personal and professional development, which will equip you to become a secondary school teacher. The PGCE Secondary is a course in Initial Teacher Training which is accredited by the Department for Education , the successful completion of which will accord you Qualified Teacher Status (QTS). Our course has recently been inspected by Ofsted which resulted in an “Outstanding” grading for all aspects of our provision.

Students who have successfully completed the PGCE at Durham in the previous academic year have the option to use 90 credits they have accredited towards a part time MA Education. These students only need to do the core modules, Education Enquiry and the Dissertation over 2 years, to complete the course. 

Subject pedagogy is explored in curriculum groups, examining techniques for making each subject accessible and stimulating in a classroom environment.

Why does a minus times a minus make a plus? Preparing to be a secondary mathematics teacher at Durham means that you will have to question your own way of thinking and doing mathematics before teaching. Some students find that they have never really understood some basic procedures, but simply followed rules. On the course, you will be strongly encouraged to find out the reasons behind rules so that you are in a better position to teach pupils well. This can be quite unsettling, but with peer and tutor support it can be a positive learning experience

You are encouraged to show where mathematical concepts are applied in everyday life, but also to recognise that mathematics is a fascinating and creative subject in its own right, and can be studied with no immediate application. The common thread is that pupils need to engage with purposeful activities in a supportive environment.

Our popular Mathematics course aims to:

  • Empower you with the necessary knowledge, understanding and skills needed to become an effective and innovative teacher of Mathematics
  • Extend your awareness of the range and scope of Mathematics as a subject in schools today
  • Provide opportunities for you to experience and explore a variety of approaches for teaching.

Throughout the course you will have many opportunities to observe, research and share different teaching approaches. We will ask you to reflect on your experiences at school, and evaluate your own teaching regularly.

Structure

The course is organised as three modules:

  • Professional Issues in school based education
  • Teaching and Learning in the Curriculum
  • Self-directed Study.

The Professional Issues in School Based Education relates to the Teacher Standards and is delivered in two parts, prior to each of the two extended teaching practices. The teaching is related to those classroom-based issues such as the psychology of learning, the law, curriculum groups, examining techniques for making each subject accessible and stimulating in a classroom environment and is followed up in subject groups and during school placements The block practices in the Autumn and Spring allow for practical opportunities for full professional development where there is a progression from observation, structured activities and group work to whole class work.

Teaching and Learning in the Curriculum and Self-directed Study are studied at Masters Level. The Teaching and Learning in the Curriculum Module draws on the international research expertise within the School of Education enabling student teachers to engage critically in issues relevant to the classroom and school, particularly those that impact on the success of children as learners. The Self-directed Study module draws on students’ experience during weekly visits to schools and their own small scale action research, and links this to critical engagement with published educational research.

On successful completion of the course, student teachers will have 90 credits and QTS.

Course Learning and Teaching

Each week, the school based and university based work will complement each other. You will focus on specific mathematical issues, but also link to whole school concerns. The programme will include an exploration of the following topics:

  • The ‘nature’ of mathematics
  • The mathematics curriculum
  • Misconceptions and errors
  • Positive strategies for classroom management
  • Mathematical thinking
  • Teaching the curriculum: associated pedagogic strategies for each curriculum strand
  • Teaching and learning approaches
  • Assessment for learning: using assessment techniques to improve teacher and pupil performance; pupil and teacher reflection
  • Differentiation and Inclusion
  • Equality and Diversity: teaching in an inclusive and supportive environment
  • The image of mathematics and mathematician
  • Creativity in mathematics.

The principal course assignments, at Master’s level, aim to relate theory and practice, and to show evidence of your background reading. Of the two Master’s level assignments, one (the Self-directed Study) is orientated towards mathematics as a subject, whilst the other (the Teaching and Learning assignment) is more generic. The achievement of the standards necessary to be awarded Qualified Teacher Status will be assessed by mentors in school, and your university tutors.

Admissions Process

At UCAS, you can apply for this course by using the following code: G1X1

Your professional and interpersonal qualities and your commitment to teaching will be considered when making an admissions decision. Candidates who meet the criteria, will be invited to a selection day. Selection days will involve individual interviews with a pre-prepared presentation element and tests to assess written English and other skills.

Successful candidates will receive an offer conditional upon successful medical and criminal record checks. The latter is carried out by the Disclosure and Barring Service and full instructions on how to apply for a DBS Disclosure will be provided.

If you have a criminal record of any kind, you may contact the School of Education DBS Manager, , for further advice and information. All enquiries will be treated in confidence.

We strongly encourage you to register for the DBS Update Service, which lets you take your certificate from one employer to another without having to apply for a new check. Please note, all DBS Enhanced Disclosures for our students must be processed by Durham University unless you have applied to the Update Service.

English Language requirements

Please check requirements for your subject and level of study.


Visit the PGCE Secondary (Mathematics) page on the Durham University website for more details!

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