Tuesday, January 11, 2011


What will I learn?
Education paints a broad brush. If you want to work in the classroom developing the minds of tomorrow, you need to take a teacher training qualification - a bachelor in education. These are usually four-year courses during which you will get up to speed with the latest government education initiatives (and get a shock when you realise how many there are and how often they're updated), be familiar with the national curriculum and know the legal and ethical responsibilities that come with the job.

You will also spend a significant chunk of time in a school actually teaching - this will probably start in your first year with a few days, but will build up to about a term by the end of your course. BEd students will also have to study another subject on the side - such as history, maths, art or science - as a classroom specialism, as well as for academic purposes.

For those you want to study education for purely academic reasons, or just aren't sure you want to work on the coalface, ie you want to understand more about how people develop and learn through their lives - then an education studies course is more appropriate. These courses will look at how education is delivered, but will focus more on how this fits into a cultural, political or historical context, rather than just how it is practically applied in schools on a day-to-day basis. You will probably look at other education models and their impact on society in other countries, and perhaps even start to develop a few ideas of your own.

What skills will I get?
After completing your degree you should have the confidence to walk into a classroom of 30 children or young people knowing that you have the theory and the practical knowledge and experience to cope with anything they throw at you (literally and figuratively - but after all that teaching practice you should have at least begun to cultivate a thick skin). You'll know what subjects you need to teach and at least have an idea about how best to do it.

You will also know the difference between an academy and a specialist school, appreciate why people get cross when creationism is taught in science lessons and the arguments surrounding grammar schools.

Students taking education studies degrees will develop a good knowledge of educational practices, be able to explain past ideas and assess how they fit into today's policies.

What job could I get?
Teaching is an obvious one, but if you don't feel like it once you've completed your degree, there are other possibilities in education. Any time spent in the classroom, or spent talking to teachers in the staffroom, will give you an invaluable insight into the profession if you want to get involved in the policy side of things.

The majority of graduates with some form of education degree do enter the teaching profession - those with education studies will often choose to study for a postgraduate teaching qualification.

What will look good on the CV?
· Good communication skills
· Knowledge of the profession
· An ability to understand and know how to implement education policy

· For the full range of skills you can develop through a degree in

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