Teaching in a secondary school is a complex and challenging task involving a range of professional teaching skills in addition to curriculum knowledge. Secondary education faces many challenges and teachers must be well informed if they are to have an active role in the debate and development of the teaching profession. Current thinking on teacher education advances the view of the teacher as a caring, reflective and self-monitoring professional and this programme seeks to sustain and develop this model.
The process of teacher education is carried out in partnership with schools and the programme includes substantial periods of placement in schools. Teachers must be able to plan, implement and evaluate learning programmes within their chosen discipline whilst recognising that their specialism contributes to a wider curriculum. Teachers must have a fundamental commitment to the welfare of pupils, meeting learning needs and encouraging personal and educational development.
University-based study focuses on curriculum content and methods of teaching and learning, alongside the theoretical and practical aspects of professional studies in education, psychology and educational technology.
The programme has been reviewed to take account of the views of the Scottish Government Education Department and the General Teaching Council for Scotland.
These views include the importance of continually developing close collaboration between the University and schools. These developments will build upon the established strengths of the programme, and the close partnership between the University and schools on which the programme is already based. The programme will also progress student attainment against a set of benchmark statements established as “The Standard for Initial Teacher Education in Scotland”, by producing teachers who can develop their subject work from an informed, broader perspective on the nature of learning, the wider curriculum, and the educational system as a whole.
The 36-week programme is structured on a full-time modular basis with 18 weeks spent on school experience placements. Students currently undertake placements in at least two schools: a 2-week ‘introductory’ placement followed by a subsequent 5-week placement in the same school; then a 6-week placement in a second school; with a final 5-week placement also in that second school.
On each placement, students will have opportunities to gain teaching experience and become familiar with whole-school policies and procedures through a ‘Generic Issues’ programme. University-based study is divided into a number of blocks of several weeks preceding or following school experience placements. All students take the cross-curricular course, School and Professional Studies, which considers broader aspects of educational theory; whole school policies and procedures; general features of secondary education and of teaching as a profession. Students also take the appropriate subject studies courses for their subject(s) in which they consider a range of approaches to teaching, learning and assessment in their discipline(s). There are also opportunities to undertake learning experiences relevant to school cross-curricular and extracurricular activities, and opportunities to progress ICT-related skills. Teaching qualifications are offered in the following areas (although the University reserves the right to withdraw certain subjects, depending on the quotas set by the Funding Council) and students may select one or two of these subjects, depending on qualifications:
* Art and Design
* Biology with Science
* Chemistry with Science
* Modern Languages
* Physical Education
Places on this programme are limited and selection is currently based on performance at an interview together with information from application forms and referee reports.