The Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching in Further Education is a professional teaching qualification and is accredited by the Teaching Council of Ireland. The programme is designed to provide participants with the skills, knowledge and competencies required to teach in a variety of settings in the Further Education sector. No prior experience of teaching is required. Graduates of the programme are entitled to register with the Teaching Council of Ireland as Further Education teachers, provided they meet the criteria set down in Regulation 5, Teaching Council (Registration) Regulations 2009.
As a participant on this NFQ Level 9 programme you will complete a number of taught modules which focus on both on the practical skills and the theoretical frameworks that underpin the practice of teaching in post-compulsory education. Alongside these modules, you will also complete 100 hours of Teaching Practice in authentic Further or Adult education settings, allowing you to apply the learning from the taught modules in real world teaching settings.
On successful completion of the programme, you should be able to:
• Critically evaluate the educational and social context within which adult and further education take place nationally and internationally;
• Analyse and reflect critically on the particular features of teaching and learning in the adult and further education sectors;
• Compare and contrast the similarities and differences between the further education sector and other sectors of education in Ireland;
• Exercise discernment in selecting and applying pedagogical and/or andragogical approaches to teaching, learning and assessment appropriate to different learner groups;
• Critique an appropriate range of approaches for the teaching and learning of the subject matter, including assessment and feedback, as appropriate to different learner groups;
• Design a programme, course or module appropriate for the learners, including teaching techniques, assessment and evaluation modes, in accordance with the requirements of the relevant awarding body;
• Demonstrate successful teaching by initiating and leading purposeful activity in in authentic settings, and respond in a skilful manner within unpredictable contexts;
• Engage in a committed manner to reflective practice, contribute to and learn from communities of practice, and act as a change agent where deemed appropriate within the profession
• Appraise existing and emerging technologies suitable for integration into their practice.
Teaching practice (TP) is a core part of all teacher education programmes and enables the student teacher to practice teaching in authentic settings. It involves student teachers, Teaching Practice Tutors, the Teaching Practice Co-ordinator, the Teaching Practice Academic Lead and workplace Mentors in Further Education settings. TP provides student teachers with the opportunity to plan and prepare lessons in a professional manner, teach effectively, reflect on their teaching and evaluate how successful this was for their students' learning.
There are three periods of Teaching Practice to be completed, one in each semester of the part time programme. The duration of each Teaching Practice Placement is between 4 and 10 weeks and student teachers will carry out a total 100 hours of Teaching Practice over the course of the programme (usually 40 hours in semester 1 and 30 hours in each of semesters 2 and 3). 80 of the 100 hours must be delivered as solo teaching hours, while the remaining 20 can include observation of teaching, co-teaching and other activities.
To satisfy the Teaching Council's registration requirements, placements must meet a number of criteria: they must be completed within recognised Further Education settings (which include Colleges of Further Education, Adult Education Centres etc); they must involve working with groups of six or more learners; and they must be on accredited programmes leading to awards at NFQ Levels 1 to 6.
Student teachers are responsible for arranging their own Teaching Practice placements. This generally involves contacting the management of likely partner institutions within the Further Education sector. Applicants who are currently engaged in a teaching or tutoring capacity within the further education sector may wish to nominate some of their existing classes for their Teaching Practice placements provided they meet the criteria below and provided the placement is approved by their appropriate line manager.
A dedicated Teaching Practice Co-ordinator liaises with the student teachers to ensure the practice placement setting meets the programme requirements. Support documents to assist in arranging placement are provided to applicants once they have successfully completed their interviews. Proof of access to placement is required before an applicant can officially be offered a place on the programme, but access to placement does not have to be in place at the time of application and interview.