The Geography PGCE course is ‘high challenge: high support’ and aims not only to help trainees to develop teaching strategies and skills so that they can use their enthusiasm about Geography to interest and motivate pupils, but also develop them as geographers. We run a series of subject knowledge workshops, including meteorology training run by the Royal Meteorological Society and a workshop on geology run by colleagues in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University. In addition, a selection of experienced mentors and guest speakers contribute to the course throughout the year; for example, David Lambert, Professor at the London Institute of Education and former Chief Executive of the Geographical Association has visited for several years to work with our trainees.
The first term concentrates primarily on preparation for the basic elements of classroom teaching, and introduces trainees to the wide range of resources and teaching strategies available to geography teachers.
Later we explore a range of subjects including:
- Urbanisation and the moving image
- The changing geography curriculum: concepts, processes and knowledge
- Landforms & processes: focus on explanations and modelling
- Globalisation & interdependence: fashion, sport and sustainability
- Citizenship, global citizenship and controversial issues – what is the role of geography?
- Place and identity: What shape is the world anyway?
Across the course, there is also a focus on new technologies, fieldwork and wider curriculum issues. We look at how GIS can be used to improve geographical learning, and consider the role of emerging technologies, such as blogging and podcasts, in teaching geography.
The Geography course consists of sessions organised in a practical, workshop atmosphere; some sessions are taught by serving teachers from partnership schools.
The training programme has been developed so each week conceptual thinking in Subject Studies sessions in the Faculty is moved forward with discussion and practical activities in school. Trainees are provided with a range of opportunities to engage with geographical field work, both with the Geography subject studies group and with partnership schools.