Need advice - PhD and/or PGCE - do I stand a chance at teaching without?

posted
30-Dec-18, 16:25
edited about 43 seconds later
Avatar for StephanieK
posted about 3 months ago
Hi everyone,

I am in the process of writing up my proposal for a PhD in psychology. I am very keen to complete a PhD because I feel it is my chance to move into a topic I love. I studied psychology only to realise later on that full time therapy was not for me and decided to make a career change once I graduated from Master's. I have been teaching in South Africa and have been seriously considering the need for a PGCE. However, I am looking for advice if a PGCE is an absolute must even after a postgrad qualification, particularly a PhD, if successfully completed? I am in South Africa, so I would especially appreciate advice from those who have experience with the South African education system as it would likely differ from other countries in terms of requirements... Is a postgrad qualification and experience sufficient to continue teaching, or is the PGCE a must?

Registration as an educator is a possibility through the South African Council for Educators (SACE) without a formal teaching qualification, however it is termed 'provisional' and requires frequent re-registration. Does anyone have experience in teaching with this provisional registration in the long term?

To give some context, I have been looking into conservation psychology and environmental education - hence being so torn by the PhD and/or PGCE debate. Admittedly, I also feel pressured by time and would like to start looking at job opportunities that will get me closer to teaching environmental education or working for conservation/environmental organisations that work with students.

Should both be necessary, would it be advisable to attempt a PGCE at the same time, just taking fewer modules in a semester, or wait until the PhD is finished? Both would be on a part time basis combined with a job.

I would greatly appreciate any advice or to hear others' experiences!
posted
02-Jan-19, 11:59
edited about 31 seconds later
Avatar for kenziebob
posted about 2 months ago
I don't know about SA but I do have experience in the UK. Here, I think it very much depends on what level of teaching you are looking at - primary schools do tend to require QTS (qualified teacher status, which a PGCE gives you), whereas subject-specific teaching at the higher end (higher/further education and to a lesser extent A-Levels) would probably be more open to you without QTS.

Edited to add that there is also a public/private division here -- the private school sector does not require a PGCE, although many schools prefer it.

This is just from my experience.
posted
03-Jan-19, 06:11
edited about 4 seconds later
Avatar for StephanieK
posted about 2 months ago
Thank you so much for that. I am currently teaching the Cambridge syllabus and experienced the same. I suppose to branch out to teach in public and private schools means the PGCE will improve my employability at the very least. Now to decide whether I should wait or attempt to complete two courses at once
posted
03-Jan-19, 15:51
Avatar for kenziebob
posted about 2 months ago
Quote From StephanieK:
Thank you so much for that. I am currently teaching the Cambridge syllabus and experienced the same. I suppose to branch out to teach in public and private schools means the PGCE will improve my employability at the very least. Now to decide whether I should wait or attempt to complete two courses at once


I did the PGCE full time so no idea about how the part time works, but I wouldn't be able to do two at once. When you are on placement the school literally consumes your life, and I would regularly find myself working in the evenings after getting home at 7.30/7pm. This is all in the UK though :)

It would probably be alright for the parts when you are attending the University - those might only be once a week for PT's. It's the placements that would be tricky.
posted
09-Feb-19, 19:07
Avatar for Morty1966
posted about 1 month ago
Hi Stephanie

You can’t teach in a U.K. school without qualified teacher status, and I would not advise you try to do a PhD, PGCE and a job at the same time. To be fully qualified you need a one year PGCE or in school training and a year as a newly qualified teacher (NQT). You are not fully qualified until the end of your first year of teaching, two years if part time. In the U.K. there is a separate teaching qualification for HE that may be better if you want to teach at HE level.

I would suggest you get your PHD first then if you still want to teach look st doing a PGCE.

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