- Ramon Chesney
BSc (Hons) Computer Science WITH QTS??????
There is always going to be difficulties about teaching/training people who aspire to joining a challenging profession. Whether you are trying to learn the theory of why you need to do certain things to facilitate learning to actually standing in the classroom and doing it. The 30 odd weeks of the PGCE is a very stressful way of learning and it is not for the faint hearted. Perhaps it should be because what you are embarking on is about changing young people’s lives.
When I was competing my degree, I knew that at that time I did not want to be a teacher. It took me many years before I even thought of it. Actually, even today on reflection , I only fell into it because someone asked me to do something 20 years ago that made me go into the classroom. Then I got the buzz, a buzz that to this day keeps me wanting to go into the classroom.
The art of teaching, (and it is an art), should be a learning journey that all teacher students should enjoy and not suffer. So should it be about throwing a person into the lions den? The PGCE course is about pretty much that. It is challenging, it is very hard and all encompassing. So finding out that the Uni is offering QTS as part of a Degree course appears to be a thoughtful and deliberate act that is quite a mature way of looking at how we need to train out next generation of teachers. Admittedly, there has been BEds on the uni curriculum for a long time and they have been big contributors to the profession. They have an approach that has education centric and why not, it is a degree in education with one purpose and that’s to teach after qualification. The Computer Science BSc and QTS is different. The central role is to become a Computer Science specialist with the additional qualification (should you choose to use it, QTS). So whether on graduation you elect to not go into teaching, you will have it to fall back on. You will have completed 120 days in schools learning to teach over the three years, seeing and experiencing and then doing the job and maybe when your gained an experience in the working world, consider returning to the use the QTS and sharing that knowledge with the students who want you to share what you have learned. Even if you do choose to go into the classroom, your journey into the profession is far less intense and more reflective because the three years allows for this experience and learn to understand the nuances that are needed to be excellent practitioners to flourish and ultimately let you decide if teaching is for you now or maybe later. Some will say the intensity of the PGCE is the price that helps those on it decide if they can become the excellent teachers that the classroom deserves. Yes it does make those on it decide if they can bring to the classroom what the students deserve and that is whats important.
Thankfully there are so many different ways of getting into the classroom in 2021. So why am I typing a piece that is shouting the the Bsc and QTS course? I answer that in two ways, firstly, why not? Secondly, I have found the students on the Computer Science QTS course to have quite a refreshing view to teaching and over the last two years of teaching on it made me think about how young or old or experienced people should be when they want to be in a classroom among young learners trying to make a positive impact on those young lives. Who gets the better experience PGCE or Undergrads? I cant answer that question, but what I do know is that the Undergrads do get a longer time to reflect and understand what the job in the classroom needs and also whether they are up to the requirements.
So whether you decide on the route Into the classroom is via the PGCE or the many other routes that are available, the QTS route alongside the undergrad qualification has so many positives going for it and really needs to be expanded as an offer for all undergrads.