David Robert Burrell, Secondary Science Trainee, University of Hull

I decided to change careers from industrial chemistry and manufacturing in order to become a science teacher.

The structure of my PGCE course has helped tremendously in my career transition. Having worked in industry for more than a decade I entered into the course with preconceptions about the teaching profession – for example, I was heavily focussed upon subject, rather than pedagogical content knowledge.

The structure of the course has helped me to address my preconceptions, assumptions and expectations of the teaching profession before entering placement. I feel that the course structure provides the strong platform required for career changers.

Even though the course has been online (due to COVID-19) there has been significant opportunity for discovery learning and regular contact with my course tutor. There has also been space for open discussion and a nurturing approach to teaching about teaching, that allows for students to develop a ‘feel’ for teaching that compliments the theoretical.

The structure of the course is such that each module builds upon the other, gradually increasing pedagogical knowledge and framing the profession appropriately (which helped me to know what to expect before placement).

In the post pandemic landscape there will be more demand for online teaching, tutoring and I would hypothesise we will see a growing demand for data analysis/ big data as a part of teaching.

This year has provided a good experience for online teaching skills (and the course prepared me for it). Due to my time in industry, as I am a BSI lean six sigma green belt, I can handle the more data-rich environment – a similar training route could be provided (and note, this would also support those planning on e.g. the lead practitioner career path).

Going forward, I would like the Department for Education to incorporate online teaching skills into national teaching standards.