The ethos of the Mathematics PGCE course is to develop the thinking behind your teaching as well as the skills involved with being an excellent teacher of mathematics. Loughborough has been acknowledged by Ofsted to be an outstanding provider for PGCE.
Having a good level of personal subject knowledge is important but what is equally important is having pedagogic subject knowledge, which concerns the way you might go about teaching that knowledge to someone else. The course will address a variety of ways in which the teaching of mathematics can be approached, of which telling and explaining are only two of the options available.
The course will involve you learning about such things as the National Curriculum, mathematics assessments and standard misconceptions. It will also challenge your thinking about what it means to work mathematically, what teaching involves, and what it means to say someone has learnt something.
Most of the sessions will involve carefully chosen activities which allow you to experience personally some important issues relating to teaching and learning mathematics. Sessions will involve a significant amount of discussion which will arise from reflection upon activities, videos or readings.
On arrival in Loughborough, students begin Phase A of their training, starting with an intensive University-based programme consisting of days devoted to subject work and days for the core Professional Studies Programme. This helps prepare students for their first school placement, which at Loughborough comes early in the PGCE course. By Christmas, everyone will have completed over a month's teaching in their placement school. Students then return to the same school after Christmas, continuing with their teaching for a further two weeks.
A similar format is repeated in the second half of the year (Phase B). Some mainly University-based weeks lead into a substantial period of teaching experience in a contrasting school.
It is situated within the Mathematics Education Centre which has an international reputation for research into teaching and learning mathematics at all ages. This enables the course to be research informed as well as practically based. The course offers 90 credits towards a Masters degree with a clear pathway to complete your Masters within two years of teaching.