Is the Nottingham distance PGCE(i) too good to be true? I've been looking at the Buckingham and Sunderland options for a while but recently found out about Nottingham. It's about two thousand pounds cheaper than the other courses which makes me ask "why?". I called them up a few days ago and had a good chat with the a few of the people involved in the course, and it seems good. Has anyone done this course? Would you reccomend it?
If anyone can give any thoughts on the Buckingham course too I'd appreciate it. The initial course fee is quite reasonable but having to do 3 trips back to the UK, and pay for an examiner to come to obsreve my lessons almost doubles the price. What are the advantages or disadvantages of this course?
Sunderland appears to be the most established of the course but with the P standing for Professional, instead of Post, I have some concerns. Do I have good reason to be concerned or is it basically the same thing?
Ultimately if I have to pay top money then that's what I have to do, as long as I get what's needed, but if there's no difference between a 5000 pound course and a 3000 pound course then I know which I'll be going for.
I'll look forward to reading your thoughts and opinions.
Last edited by jetho23; 31st January 2009 at 16:00.
Which Nottingham university?
I can't post a link on here as I'm a new user, but if you put Nottingham PGCE International into google then it'll be the first one to come up.
That's the University of Nottingham. I did mine at Nottingham Trent University which I have lots, sorry, some useful information on with regards to the department its run from, but the University of Nottingham I detested from my time as an undergraduate. Money grabbing, rip off place, but still regarded as one of the top 10 universities in England.
That course appears to not qualify you for QTS status in UK, unless I'm reading it wrong. That means it's probably not recognised in other western systems either.
Doesn't matter if you've no intention of working in the west, but still a consideration.
Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.
It seems that none of the distance programs qualify you for licensing directly. I've been looking into schools in the US, Aus, S. Africa, and the UK. The South African one appears to be the most promising, surprisingly. I suspect it is because of the lack of a practical component.
...you get what you need.
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That's true, that none of the distance courses will give you QTS, but you could still use it to go on to do the practical teaching practice element in the UK if you needed to, and you still get to have PGCE on your resume. Actually I think that Buckingham and Sunderland do require observed teaching pracctice. For Sunderland you can send videos of your lessons but for Buckingham the tutor comes to you twice throughout the course(which you have to pay for). The thing is, and I guess my main question is, for working in the international school circuit does it really make a difference what course I do? I mean, as long as I can legitimately put PGCE with a UK University name at the side of it, would anything else really matter?
^ If you're really serious about getting into the top-tier international schools, then you'd be better off getting some experience of either the British or American curriculums first. The parents pay a lot of money to send their kids to schools of this calibre for a good reason: they want teachers who actually know what they're doing in the classroom and not simply someone who's collected qualifications like Boy Scout badges.
One of my friends will attend the CIS international job fair in London soon and she's already been made aware from those "in the know" that competition will be as fierce, if not more so, this year compared to previous years. Many more teachers are hitting the international circuit and looking to broaden their experience outside their home country. You'll be up against those if you apply at the top-tier schools. And they'll undoubtedly have a lot more experience than you.
You may get lucky and be offered a decent job at a Thai international school with almost zilch UK or USA based experience. You may not. Either way, be realistic in what you can achieve in the present market and with your lack of experience despite gaining a PGCE. It's highly unlikely you're going to walk into some fabulous high-paying job just now.
I don't intend to sound harsh on you but don't be disappointed if that golden salary package fails to materialise whilst the ink is still drying on your PCGE certificate.
Good luck, whatever you choose to do.
Last edited by Hong Kong Phooey; 31st January 2009 at 23:31. Reason: /
You mean like crashed airplanes, dinosaurs and timeshifts like?
Isn't it odd how doing a PGCE is so ludicrously hyped up on here?
And how so many PGCE holders can barely tie their own shoes?
Last edited by Cyrille; 1st February 2009 at 02:42. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
And it does appear qualifications are coming under increased scrutiny, even in Thailand.
So I don't know that the hype is necessarily "ludicrous".
As regards to your latter point, I'm not sure many in the west have ever placed the average teacher all that high up the scale of intellectual excellence, so it would be no real surprise to most that an inordinate number of teachers opt for slip-on shoes!
Qualifications are important, but people put too much trust into them. Simply obtaining your credentials isn't the path to gold. Top schools care about credentials simply because that's what the parents want to see, but when it comes down to choosing an employee then it becomes all about the person. How does that person's educational philosophy and vision align with that of the school? In the top tier scene I feel it's about who you are and sometimes who you know. It's takes some luck to break in, but once you there your there.
So credentials matter, but you need to be packing some along with those credentials.
I understand where you're coming from Hong Kong Phooey. I though your comments were barsh but also fair. Of course, you can have a PGCE, Med, and the works but if you hve zero personality then you probably won't get far in an interview, but getting a PGCE is a start, just as getting a degree in the first place is. What I like about the PGCE though is that more often than not you have to be in an international school that teaches the British national curriculum to do the course. Finding one that will let you do is effectively the hardest part, but there are a lot of international schools who will support a teacher to do a PGCE in their school, not just in Thailand but all over. I asked the Universities where their other students were doing the courses and was informed of teachers in international schools all over, such as Thailand and China, and a lot doing it in Europe. The qualification qualifies you to work in a prive school in the UK but not in a government school.
From the school perspective, they are looking for a teacher with experience who is now looking to further their career. Thus, if you have been working at a bilingual school for a few years and have already taught core subjects then you'd have a chance. For sure, you'd have very little chance of being accepted if you were just walking out a language school after 1 year EFL experience. It benefits the school because they at least know that they're getting someone who has a bit of experience and the determination to improve, as demonstrted by the determination to do the PGCE in the first place. Because you're not qualified they get to hire you on the cheap (compared with other international school teachers), but it would still very decent money compared with anything you'd get in bilingual school. They also probably get you for at least 2 or 3 years,which would be a condition of them supporting you through the PGCE, so it's not like they have nothing to gain.
So, because to do the course you have to find an international school that will support you, then as long as do this, by the end of it you will leave with a PGCE and at least a years international school experience.
My current situation is that I have a school that will support me to do the PGCE with them, I just need to decide which University to go through, hence my inital post.
Last edited by jetho23; 1st February 2009 at 20:20. Reason: Automerged Doublepost