Sunday, 28 October 2012

Buckingham University


The University of Buckingham, link here, where I am at the moment on a residential course for a PGCE, was a new creation, receiving its royal charter in 1983. It developed through Oxford academics who wanted to follow an American model of funding rather than the traditional UK one.

It teaches in a tutorial style, now seldom found outside Oxbridge, and is flexible in many courses, such as my PGCE. This will allow me to teach in the private sector (though not the state sector - eh???!!!). My reasons for this degree are not, of course, obviously professional. I am a priest, and as such do not need a qualification in education, but it is good practice for all those who are educating children to have their practices validated.

His Excellency Monsignor Declan Lang, Bishop of Clifton
Also I have another reason, when/if the Bishop of Clifton calls me back to the UK then many of our parishes have schools in them. It's not too bad with primaries, but in secondaries most of our teachers are not Catholic, and any input from the 'Church' is quickly sidelined. We have our place, but that is definitely in the humanities, and then, only in Religion and Philosophy - and by the time you've presented the 'balanced' view, we are only the 'backers', the 'Catholic Ethos', the ones to be humoured.

So now, I will be able to walk in and say 'listen to me, I am a qualified teacher, I know how to deliver a syllabus, I know what it is like to be in a classroom, I was head of a mathematics department (no, not just wooly irrelevant religion)'.

Don't know if it'll make a difference but you might as well try.

So I'm here in Buckingham. Which, by the way, was 21st out of 115 universities in the Times Good University Guide in 2012. Not bad for a new kid on the block.

New Kids on the Block

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