The PME course is designed to prepare high quality teachers for today’s second level schools. Students undertake a study of the principles of teaching and learning, develop practical teaching skills, and engage in a supervised teaching placement in at least two second-level schools. Students normally take disciplinary courses in the teaching of two curricular subjects. The course normally commences in late August and lectures and school placement end in May. Examination results are usually available in late June.
School Based Experience In the first year, school placement is carried out on two full days a week in a second level school where the principal and members of staff have agreed to co-operate with Maynooth University Education Department. Students spend about 65 days per year in a school within a 85 kilometer radius of Maynooth. In addition there is a period of ‘block’ teaching in January, of approximately three weeks continuous work in schools. Students make their own arrangements for teaching practice.
Teaching, Learning, Assessment and Curriculum /The Teacher as a Critically Reflective Practitioner The central focus of these modules is on enabling the student to develop a repertoire of pedagogical skills and to adopt a professional, self-analytical and reflective approach to classroom practice. These course elements are aimed at deepening the student’s understanding of the processes of teaching and learning, of assessment, of education, of pupils and their psycho-social development, of schools within their social context and of the structure and development of the system within which they work. Among the research sources that inform these modules are pedagogical and curriculum studies, the history and structure of education, educational psychology, sociology of education and the philosophy of education.
Teaching/Learning Seminars in Subject Methods These consist of seminars/lectures/workshops devoted to the methodology teaching and learning of school subjects.
The Professional Master of Education is the main qualification recognised by the Department of Education and Skills for teaching at second-level in Ireland. It is also recognised under the EU directives on mutual recognition of professional qualifications.