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PGCE Secondary Social Science

Course Description

Course Summary

Develop as a highly qualified, effective and confident teacher of social science, studying with a specialist to gain the knowledge and skills to use a variety of different approaches to teaching your specialist subject; and achieve Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

Intermediate qualifications available:

- Professional Graduate Certificate in Education

This course is accredited by the National College for Teaching and Leadership (a department of the Department for Education) to deliver Initial Teacher Training

Choose Secondary Social Science PGCE at Bedfordshire and:

- Study on a course designed to enable you to join a challenging and rewarding profession – becoming an effective and inspiring teacher who draws on broad subject specific knowledge and secure understanding of teaching and learning theories - with the knowledge and skills to lead learning and initiate change in educational settings
- Explore your understanding of teaching and learning secondary social science, as you apply your subject knowledge and expertise to planning teaching and managing the social science classroom; honing your skills of critical self-evaluation and improvement
- Develop your creativity and team-working skills, preparing you to influence and lead in educational settings and enhancing your own sense of independence
- Gain confidence in analysing the evidence of your own practical experience during placements in schools, informing your future actions as you evaluate the impact of applying theory to your teaching practice
- Benefit from a qualification that gives you recommendation for Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), enabling you to gain employment in a school, with opportunities for continuous development through further study at MA/MSc, MPhil, PhD and EdD levels.

Why choose this course?

Develop as a highly qualified teacher with the knowledge and skills to lead learning and initiate change in educational settings.

Career Management Skills

The course is framed by a commitment to help you to develop the characteristics of a University of Bedfordshire graduate teacher. You will be challenged to explore theories of teaching and learning and to examine the implications of such theories for your own development. In doing this you will refine, form and reform your own principles, perspectives and values in relation to professional teaching practice. On completion of the course you will have the appropriate attitude, knowledge, skills and understanding to meet the needs of the childrens and schools workforce agenda.

Distinctive features of this course, through which you will develop these characteristics, include:

- Partnership provision
- Enhancements which improve personalisation and employability
- Reflective practice
- Frequent formative feedback
- Integration of performance and learning outcomes
- Webfolio
- Differentiated achievement outcomes

These features are outlined below:

Partnership provision -

The course has been developed, and is taught, by a team consisting of practising teachers, senior teachers, school leaders and university tutors. As a result, the course design satisfies the expectations and requirements of your future employers and you will benefit from the current and recent experience which they bring. Authentic partnership with schools underpins the success of the course, as confirmed by Ofsted 2011. Innovative developments include working with clusters of schools to provide a common ITE experience and professional development programme across the cluster. This is an emergent model of partnership which enables the University to engage directly in shaping the teacher education course and to provide employment opportunities for newly qualified teachers.

Enhancements which improve personalisation and employability -

The first aim of the Subject Specialist unit is to develop your subject knowledge and pedagogy with a specific focus on the phase and/or specialist subject curriculum. However, in order to support you in achieving your personal aspirations, and to enhance your record of knowledge and experience, the programme offers a range of additional opportunities such as: working with learners for whom English is an Additional Language; using the interactive white board to enhance learning; etc.

Reflective practice -

The course aims to develop you as an effective reflective practitioner. Reflective thinking is a multifaceted process that requires you to analyse classroom events and circumstances. By virtue of its complexity teaching requires constant and continual classroom observation, evaluation and subsequent action. However, to be an effective practitioner it is imperative to understand `Why?, `How? and

`What if.? in addition to the analysis of the observed events. This understanding comes through the consistent practice of reflective thinking and writing which is supported by the webfolio, assignments and profile review process. In essence, the continuous development of your skills of reflective analysis provides you with key learning tools through which to evaluate your progress as a developing professional.

Reflective thinking is a learned process that requires time. The course encourages you to develop the skill of critical self-evaluation and to discover meaningful and creative problem-solving strategies to support your classroom practice. In doing so you are expected to synthesise the knowledge and understanding gained from your reading, learning experiences and teaching practice.

Frequent formative feedback -

The course team members share a pedagogic belief that all aspects of the course should present you with models of best teaching practice from which you are able to form your own pedagogic principles. One key feature of that model of practice is the emphasis placed on the role of formative assessment. That is, a belief that assessment tasks should be used as one of the tools by which to promote learning, rather than simply to measure what learning has taken place. In all units, therefore, support is provided in the form of frequent feedback about your progress against the assessment criteria, in order to recognise, respond to, and enhance the learning that has taken place. Support includes scheduled tutorial meetings, to allow you to assess your progress and identify specific targets for continual improvement, with opportunities to improve your work prior to final submission.

Integration of performance and learning outcomes -

All teacher education courses are required to provide support to achieve Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) by meeting the requirements of the professional standards (currently the Teachers Standards 2012.) A defining principle of this course is the commitment to intellectual engagement with the standards, rather than superficial claims of performance against them. To support this, the qualitative descriptors are used to show how satisfactory, good and outstanding student teachers might present themselves. Your professional development record will be organised within the framework of Teachers Standards and the assessment strategy, described in detail later in this document, ensures that your critical analysis of experiences from the course forms the basis of your evidence against those standards. In this way, your intellectual and performance development are intrinsically linked.

Webfolio -

The webfolio is the medium through which your reflective writing, other assessments and documentary evidence are managed. As such, it forms the central spine of the course, drawing the range of experiences and activities together in a coherent structure. The webfolio is a required element of the course and most of your assignments will be submitted by making the webfolio available to your tutor.

The webfolio is designed to help you allocate time and space to engage in critical self-reflection and self-evaluation of your practice, which could then be shared with others, helping you to identify areas of strength and areas for future development. The webfolio will also provide you with a flexible means by which you can gather and store information about your understanding, knowledge, values and beliefs. Its portability ensures that you will be able to continue to use it as a gateway for your professional development beyond the award of QTS.

You will share your webfolio with your mentor to aid professional dialogue and as part of the Profile Review process. It will also be used as an instrument to identify opportunities for deeper personalisation throughout the course.

Differentiated achievement outcomes -

The course is designed to support all students in developing the knowledge and skills which satisfy the requirements of level 7 (Masters level) qualifications. It is acknowledged, however, that some students will choose, or need, to direct their attention and effort towards other aspects of their professional development. For this reason, level 6 and level 7 assessment criteria are organised as a continuum.

There are two units which each offer 30 credits at either level 6 or level 7.

If you pass both the assignments for these units at level 7 you will be awarded a Postgraduate Certificate in Education with recommendation for QTS

If you pass both the assignments for these units at level 6 or either one of these assignments at level 6 and one at level 7, you will be awarded a Professional Graduate Certificate in Education with recommendation for QTS

Career/Further study opportunities

Local and national demand for University of Bedfordshire graduate teachers is high. Annual destinations surveys show that 90% of graduate teachers will have secured full-time teaching posts to begin in the year of graduation, with a further 9% working in part-time teaching positions.

Visit the PGCE Secondary Social Science page on the University of Bedfordshire website for more details!

Entry Requirements

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