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Mentoring PGCE students


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#16 Dan Lyndon

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Posted 04 March 2005 - 08:16 PM

Hi Ed, nice to have you on board.

This is a bit of a tricky one, and I have only had one PGCE student so I am not the best guide, however why don't you set her a target for her next observation to come up with 5 questions that she has to ask the teacher based on the lesson she saw. She should not concentrate on any other element in the lesson ie classroom management. The alternative could be to ask her to do a short interview with some of the more experienced teachers, and you could possibly make up some scenario ie the dept is looking at the preferred learning style of different staff to see if they are always teaching in the 'comfort zone'. Sorry if these are rubbish suggestions, but hey it is Friday night!
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#17 Ed Podesta

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Posted 06 March 2005 - 06:55 PM

Sorry if these are rubbish suggestions, but hey it is Friday night!

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Not at all Dan, these are v helpful - will try them out on Friday when I have a mentor meeting.

thanks

Ed.

"In the past, philosophers have sought only to understand the world. The point is also to change it." - K. Marx
"Classification is exceedingly tedious" - I. Berlin

 

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#18 John Simkin

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Posted 09 March 2005 - 07:39 AM

My pgce interns are still doing well, but I'm having a little trouble getting one of them to ask questions of the teachers she is observing.  She gets involved when observing, teaches her own lessons well, but I'd like to get her talking about history teaching with her more experienced colleagues.

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Maybe you should get your PGCE students to join the History Teachers' Discussion Forum (or the Education Forum).

I used to find it a more difficult problem to get my experienced teachers to discuss history teaching. One strategy was to raise these issues during lunch-breaks (just like I do on this Forum). The more controversial the statement, the better it worked.

There was an interesting article published in the Education Guardian yesterday. Phil Revell, an ex-teacher, spent two years talking to PGCE students about their training. The long article is based on his book, The Professionals – Better Teachers, Better Schools (2005).

Revell argues that students do not spend enough time training to become teachers. He points out that it is by a long way a “shorter qualification route than any other profession”. For example, it takes 7 years to be a doctor, 6 to become a solicitor, 7 to qualify as an architect. Whereas people are expected to teach after 24 weeks in school. His research shows that very little of this time is spent actually teaching in a way that will be expected of them when they qualify.

Revell’s main worry is that they become teachers with very little knowledge of the history and politics of education, child development, the relationship between intelligence and ability, the influences on educational achievement and the theories of how the brain handles information.

Revell’s research shows that this areas are largely ignored after they become full-time teachers. Officially, after the training year, teachers should have 10% of their timetable kept free to allow for professional development. His research shows that a large percentage of schools do not keep to this and a significant minority of heads exploit new teachers.

Revell concludes that this is one of the main reasons why so many teachers leave the profession. I think this passage of his book is well worth considering in some detail:

“In 20 years there have been four major reforms of the school system: two versions of the national curriculum, one set of A-level reforms and now the 14-19 white paper. Each time, teachers were either not consulted, or saw their views watered down.

Are other professions treated like this? Can the government ride roughshod over their views? The simple answer is no. Reforms in health and law have focused on structure and funding. Doctors retain much of the professional power they acquired in 1858, when the medical registration act granted them a monopoly in the practice of medicine. There's no comparable statute for teaching. How did teachers find themselves in such a weak position?”

Edited by Andrew Field, 13 March 2005 - 09:55 AM.


#19 Ed Podesta

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Posted 13 March 2005 - 09:30 AM

Maybe you should get your PGCE students to join the History Teachers' Discussion Forum (or the Education Forum).

I used to find it a more difficult problem to get my experienced teachers to discuss history teaching. One strategy was to raise these issues during lunch-breaks (just like I do on this Forum). The more controversial the statement, the better it worked.


I'l suggest it john. I remember on my PGCE not having enough time to wipe my nose, and I think they'll probably reply that they're too busy.

There was an interesting article published in the Education Guardian yesterday. Phil Revell, an ex-teacher, spent two years talking to PGCE students about their training. The long article is based on his book, The Professionals – Better Teachers, Better Schools (2005).

Revell argues that students do not spend enough time training to become teachers. He points out that it is by a long way a “shorter qualification route than any other profession”. For example, it takes 7 years to be a doctor, 6 to become a solicitor, 7 to qualify as an architect. Whereas people are expected to teach after 24 weeks in school. His research shows that very little of this time is spent actually teaching in a way that will be expected of them when they qualify.


During my PGCE I remember discussing this with several fellow interns. There was a feeling that there was so much to learn, so many interesting things to follow up, and that our PGCE was simply scratching the surface.

I have an interesting perspective on this, as I was a qualified solicitor for two years before leaving that profession and becoming a teacher. Lawyers do train for three years after their degree, but only one of these is in an academic sense. The other two are as "trainee solicitors" working for firms and is therefore "on the job" training.

It could be argued that teaching is similar, in that teachers learn their subjects for three years, then "learn" the profession of teaching for one year at university, before getting one years on the job training in their NQT position.

Training to be a solicitor is slightly artificial in that you never get to have a go at practice until you are practising, but you are protected (in terms of responsibility) as a trainee solicitor in a way that you are not as an NQT. Further, it is recognised that you require time to read around subjects before being able to apply your knowledge.

Teacher training has great advantages in that you learn as you try new things, and during my PGCE year I had the same feeling of being free to experiment and indeed to make mistakes, because the teachers I worked with made it clear that the class remained their responsibility and they were on hand if things went wrong. That feeling disappeared as soon as my NQT year started. Being an NQT was about meeting standards, it seemed.

Perhaps a compromise would be a 2 year PGCE in which the balance of teaching practice and college work remains the same. This would provide much more opportunity for PGCE students to read around their craft, and to pick up experience in the classroom before starting their NQT year.

Revell’s main worry is that they become teachers with very little knowledge of the history and politics of education, child development, the relationship between intelligence and ability, the influences on educational achievement and the theories of how the brain handles information.


Perhaps forums like this one and http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/ can become places where teachers help each other to learn new things, techniques, knowledge, perspectives?

I feel as if I have learned an enormous amount since I started reading these two forums.

Revell’s research shows that this areas are largely ignored after they become full-time teachers. Officially, after the training year, teachers should have 10% of their timetable kept free to allow for professional development. His research shows that a large percentage of schools do not keep to this and a significant minority of heads exploit new teachers.


I do think however that there is a significant proportion of the profession that is closed or resistant to the very idea of professional development, perhaps feeling that there's nothing else to learn?

"In the past, philosophers have sought only to understand the world. The point is also to change it." - K. Marx
"Classification is exceedingly tedious" - I. Berlin

 

ModernWorldGcseHistory.1.gif

 

OneDamnThing.1.gif

 

Podestaorguk.1.gif

 


#20 alison denton

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Posted 31 March 2005 - 06:31 AM

Hi again,

My pgce interns are still doing well, but I'm having a little trouble getting one of them to ask questions of the teachers she is observing.  She gets involved when observing, teaches her own lessons well, but I'd like to get her talking about history teaching with her more experienced colleagues.

How can I help her to feel more comfortable about this?

Ed.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


a resource for mentors nobody has mentioned so far is Teaching History (published by Historical Association). There is always a section at the back for mentors and trainees called 'Move Me On' which has great ideas and is written by real mentors in response to oft occurring situations with trainees.




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