Think about the name ... PGCE international
Not PGCE English (11-16)
Not PGCE Geography (11-16)
Its just a general, non-subject specific 'qualification'.
Zero subject teaching methodology.
Just the general EPS (Educational and Professional studies) short 'dissertation style' reports, which anyone who did a UK PGCE would tell you they are just a pain in the ass (and did not make them better teachers) - when time is better spent lesson planning.
Example of such a report - write a 5000 word essay on whether you consider XXXX's approach to teaching dyslexic children in the 1960's is applicable today.
I consider this Masters research nonsense...not aiding effective classroom teaching.
Maybe most of the people doing these online courses have already wangled there way into these mid/top schools and there is now pressure from management for the teachers to get some sort of PGCE certificate.
I can't imagine a school (with former UK teachers in the management team who know what a PGCE really means) accepting a PGCE international over a UK PGCE.
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Jonny TEFL turns up at the right time and is able to start straight away. Interview goes well, the guy obviously knows what he's doing and knows how to talk to and deal with kids - only problem is that he doesn't have a piece of paper saying he's a certified teacher.
Would parents be satisfied with 'Jonny TEFL, PGCE (in progress)' - If they met him, and he was presented well, talked the talk, smiled and made their kid laugh - of course they would.
It's not an effective form of recruitment IMO, but parent power is pretty strong in international schools, and I'm sure it's happened more than once.
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You know what really chaps my ass though?
I spent my life savings turning my van into a dog.
The alarm alone cost me two hundred.
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It is interesting that you mention the only "Masters" type paper that this program requires while ignoring the two courses entitled Education Theory 1 and 2 that require students to definitively show their understanding of teaching methodology specifically for literacy and numeracy subjects. I agree that these Masters type papers do not compare to actual lesson plans. I think Sunderland agrees with you as well because in the Teacher File that I am required to keep and that is gone through with a fine comb I have no less than 100 lesson plans per practicum. These lesson plans have to meet very specific guidelines, the same guidelines that Sunderland students on campus follow. In fact there is virtually no difference between the courses that the on campus Sunderland students do and that I do in so much as we even watch the same lectures. I guess by your reasoning their PGCE must be pretty useless. Except that I am sure there are many students who have graduated from Sunderland who are currently teaching in the school system of England. If you have a legitimate problem with this program then please share with me how you think it differs from your own on campus PGCE program that you did, I would really like to understand why you think this program is so inferior based on the little (mis)information you have about it.
As I said before I can't really speak to the situation in Thailand but my mentor wasn't sent from abroad, she works at my school. I am lucky in that I happened to have a great mentor working for me. The type of mentor you have is dependent on the school you do your practicum at, much like it would be if you did it in England. I think what your friend is referring to is the team from Sunderland who comes out to audit the program and ensure that it is being run well and that the students are progressing as expected. It is unfortunate that they do not visit Thailand however if more people start doing the course I am sure hey will start to visit. I think in that situation the best suggestion is to ensure that you get to do your practicum at a goo and progressive school under the mentorship of an experienced teacher with lots to teach and offer.
About your friend of a friend who is having a hard time finding a job with his new qualification, one thing I have learned over the years are that qualifications can only take someone so far. I hope he has better luck for the next school year.
You raised some really good points regarding how a teacher might get hired by an international school and find their way to this program. However I was hired not for my interest in this program as I already had an M.Ed. and many years of teaching experience at international schools. So it isn't always the case.
I think we have a much larger group of students taking it here in China hence the meetings. Glad to hear that you are being challenged by it. Ignore those naysayers as I am sure it will lead to a great job in the future for you. Good Luck with it.
Mai, perhaps you are thinking of the Nottingham "PGCE International" version, where (I believe) there is no practicum?
This Sunderland "PGCE (Postgraduate Certificate in Education (Centred Based or Distance Learning)" -
PGCE (Postgraduate Certificate in Education (Centred Based or Distance Learning) - University of Sunderland
- is, as far as I know, the same course as a UK PGCE minus the QTS at the end. IE students actually in Sunderland doing the course who end up with a normal UK PGCE do the same modules and work, including theory and practice, as we do overseas, except they get snow and fish n chips.
I had to choose a subject and an age group when I applied.
Have a look at the site, and let us know how it differs if I am wrong.
Either way, it ought not to be sniffed at in the uninformed way you're doing.