Perhaps you can help me figure out the differences or pros and cons if you like...
between distant learning PCGEi Nottingham Uni VS. PCGE Sunderland Distant Learning (overseas)
I have been researching the PCGEi (distant learning Thailand based) through various threads on here, which have helped greatly and also I have contacted Nottingham Uni directly.
I am a little confused between what PCGEi Notthingham offers in comparison to Sunderland University PCGE Distant Learning (overseas students) because as far as I understand both do not give QTS status?
In regard to my own situation, I am full time permanent in Thailand, I have wife and a baby and I am committed to staying in Thailand long term. I teach in Pattaya in a private primary school (but it is not international) as a "Home Room Teacher" and I earn what is probably average "English Teacher" type salary. I really like the work, I like teaching and I really enjoying working with the children and it is great fun.
My goal is in 2 -3 years time to get my foot into some form of international school - more specifically to get to the higher paying jobs I read about which seems to pay double and upwards of the standard average "English Teacher going rate".
I am seriously considering the PCGEi from Notthingham University - 80% mind made up to being to register.
I want to add re my own personal situation, I am from Ireland, so there is no possibility of me doing QTS training England, and indeed virtually no possibility I would ever consider working there because Thailand is home now, so perhaps it is not as relevant for me as working in UK is not in the plan.
I do accept a qualified UK PCGE QTS Teacher with experience is probably going to walk into jobs ahead of me regarding the top paying teaching jobs in Thailand, and that a PCGEi will not be as powerful as a QTS PCGE UK Teacher on the job market (and also some top tier international schools may not consider PCGEi) , however I have to work within the bounds of my own specific situation.
The PCGEi Notthingham seems ideal for me, (dates, flexibility, etc, including stepped pathway to a Masters which I am sure is another career plus) though I am confused to what advantage Sunderland PCGE distant learning would have over PCGEi Nottingham if both do not get you QTS status?
I would be grateful for any feedback, or information, especially keen to hear from people who have done distant learning PCGEi or PCGE Sunderland from Thailand and did it help them to open doors to the higher paying jobs in the international school jobs sector?
Thank you for all help in advance.
Great, Thank you Paully for the additional threads on PCGEi, I will study these now.
Please keep the info coming :-)
Researched the subject of PGCEs quite a bit on here, so here is the vibe I have picked up so far...
You may find some International schools may consider you (unofficially) as you are, providing you are qualified to at least Degree level and can actually teach! Quite often it is the case of not what you know but who you know. May be worth speaking to local schools to see whether they would consider you with the PGCEi or not. Also got to weigh up how much extra you would earn with the qualification and how long it would take to pay back your investment
Yes, I have a B.A. Degree, TEFL Cert (also a Post Grad Dip in Business Studies - DBS but I do not think that gets any additional points?) and of course I have a nice job in a private school (I do hear the sister school may be getting some form of International Status in mid term time frame which maybe useful & relevant in time) and I intend to stay where I am for good 2 - 3 years to get good track record, build up contacts, perhaps do PCGEi or use as route to Masters over longer term.
Without getting into the ongoing row about "which is what tier of an international school" - and having spent 5 years already in Thailand, I feel same as Wildbill sort of telling me. back doors may open and perhaps occasional do and have opened for people on this forum into various levels of "tiers" of international schools without and with PGCEi
I feel I am at a point in life where it would be prudent to upgrade myself in some form. The options are limited me being in Thailand full time, and I do not feel read to jump straight into a Masters program (distance learning option) and doing to do weekends in BKK all year for a masters is a no go re having family set up in Pattaya.
PCGEi aside from my main question above, probably would be a nice stepping stone to see if I would commit to Masters or would be interested enough to go the full distance to Masters.
Yes, I am thinking along lines of WildBills advice re being "Unofficially" considered for the better jobs (career wise and salary wise), I suppose like many many things in Thailand, some places at certain times what is "Officially" wanted and "Unofficially" done in day to day business can be two very very different things!...
Which perhaps is a good thing for some of us people with good degrees, good experience, passion for teaching, a commitment to being in Thailand, but lacking the UK PCGE QTS sit up.
Please keep posting. Thank you all.
I feel the PGCEi/ Distance PGCE will become more 'attractive' for Thai-based teachers in future as the financial support for PGCE students in the UK is being cut - and will no doubt be cut further under our generous coalition government. The TES last week stated that the PGCE bursary for subjects like business studies, citizenship and history has been cut from £6,000 to £4,000 for 2010-11 and the government has yet to decide the level of fees for the PGCE course from 2012, currently £4,000. The days of PGCE bursaries themselves (brought in only in 2000) may be numbered.
Just off topic for a second... similarly as you probably are well aware the Rep. Of Ireland's economy & employment has taken a wonderful nose dive down the loo. Many young people are now only too glad to get into safe secure pension "job for life" teaching jobs due to all the high flying money corporate jobs drying up (I know, I used to own a recruitment agency in Dublin!) so interestingly one of the first sectors the government has put a freeze on teaching jobs, and all teaching jobs recruitment is frozen for the next 4 years (I think its 4 yrs). So basically the government has put a stop to everyones gallop to the safe option of being a teacher! Typical... maybe similar inspiring the UK government to cut PGCE grants?
I don't think that it is that the U.K are speciifically cutting down on payments for trainee teachers. They seem to be cutting back on all third level funding.
I myself am from Ireland, have two sisters who are new qualified teachers, and am aware of the lack of teaching positions in Ireland right now.
However I have applied to do the PGCE in England for next year starting 2011. I am awaiting my interview. I have also applied to do other courses as well in the teaching (tefl) sector. Basically I didn't want to put all my eggs into one basket.
I think that either PGCEi Sunderland or Nottingham carry the same weight. I have a friend currently doing it through Nottingham whilst working at a Bangkok International school. He says the paper work is the hardest and most time demanding part of the course. I may do it myself at a later stage if I don't get the PGCE in England this year.
Anyway, best of luck and I am sure whichever you choose, it will go well for you.
P.S. Is it primary or secondary pgcei you want to do?
I am slap bang in the middle of doing my PGCE distance learning from Sunderland Uni. 3 modules down, 3 to go!!
I had a very quick glance at that Nottingham one and I must be missing something - there appears to be no actual teaching involved in it? I must be wrong, I must just be missing the practical parts but it says 4 modules which are basically essays?!?
On the Sunderland Uni PGCE you have to do two teaching blocks (6 weeks each) and meet ALL of the "standards" that teachers doing the PGCE on campus in England do, it is identical, you have to build up "folders of evidence" which then get assessed for all the standards.
Surely the Nottingham one is the same? There must be placements and standards otherwise you do they know what you're "teaching" and how well / badly you're doing it?
Hope you get a PGCE place for this September, aridiron.
Oh, and they're bringing in psychometric tests for PGCE students to root out all you nutty Smeg-types Haltest may approve.
Last edited by paully; 12th January 2011 at 19:09.
Would it be extra trouble for little gain above what Nottingham PCGEi offers? (from the point of view of a hiring school who may regard both courses as similar?.)
I do agree of course that Sunderland will give more teaching experience as per practical work.
I wonder if I decided to do Sunderland, would my Primary teaching job/school in the English Program I teach in be acceptable for the teaching evaluation blocks. Again it would be a deal breaker for me if Sunderland would not accept my current job.
If i felt both Sunderland and Nottingham would be view as fairly equal in the eyes of hiring panels in international schools, (assuming one has relevant several years teaching experience already in Thailand) then I would opt of Notthingham PCGEi if the lack of teaching practice meant one would have less extra course work to do.
Thank you Paully. Got my fingers crossed. There seems to be a hell of a lot of people applying this year, according to the University I have applied to.
^ That's the impression I get too. But you should get an interview, just go for it.
Will do Paully. Thanks for the encouragement. Got an interview scheduled for March 10th. So fingers crossed.
Here's an example of the type of thing - you do have to watch out for the overexcited 'omigod i cant believe ive got an interview [sic]' stuff though:
Last edited by paully; 12th January 2011 at 23:06.