Top 10 reads from the PGCEi

The PGCEi was full of great reads. Here were the articles and chapters I most enjoyed from the course, all of which were part of the core content. I’ll find as many open access links as I can!

10 Roberts (2013) International Education and Global Engagement: Education for a Better World? (Google Books here)

What’s in a word? This book chapter scrutinises the term ‘international’, rants a bit about the concept of ‘international mindedness’, and outlines what it should mean in practice. I like this chapter as you can sense that the author has some beef, but also talks a lot of sense.

9 Bailey (2015) The experiences of host country nationals in international schools: A case-study from Malaysia (open access)

This was a small-scale study but I really like the insight it provides. I see this as research that could be replicated by teachers in a range of contexts. The important thing is that it focuses on student perspectives – and highlights how they differ from those of their teachers’ viewpoints.


How to get a PGCEi Distinction

I’ve just finished a PGCEi through University of Nottingham. I got a mark of 78 for each of the three modules, which basically means ‘your writing is okay, but your stuff’s not really a contribution to the field or anything; solid but unspectacular’. Spot on, I’d say.

Here are the macro indicators for assessment.

The differences between a Merit and a Distinction might seem subtle/subjective – things like ‘broad knowledge’ versus ‘broad and detailed knowledge’, or ‘originality’ versus ‘considerable originality’. However, based on the conversations I’ve had with PGCEi candidates from my own/previous cohorts, I can say there are three clear areas that set your 60s apart from your 70s. They are:


Useful links: Project-based learning

I’ve been reading a bit about project-based learning (PjBL) recently. I had to write a critique of an approach used in my context as part of the PGCEi. Our Secondary course now follows a PjBL approach*, so I thought it was worth trying to understand the approach in more detail and evaluating whether it’s effective. Here’s some useful reading on PjBL in general.

Larmer et al (2015) seems to be a go-to resource for PjBL, and set out some clear design principles for the approach:

Check out their ‘Gold-standard PBL’ white paper for an overview.

Thomas (2000), shares a great overview on the difference between ‘doing a project’ and ‘project-based learning’. They stress that in PjBL…

  • projects are central to the curriculum rather than peripheral
  • driving questions or problems guide the learning
  • projects are student-driven and realistic (authentic)
  • projects involved constructive, sustained investigation