At its simplest, TeachNorthern is our programme of teacher education qualifications. This is an attempt to articulate why we don’t do teacher education like other people do. We’re not pretending we are better (though we are pretty good), but we are different. We TeachDifferent.
The Northern College’s mission is “to provide outstanding adult residential and community education for the empowerment and transformation of individuals and communities” (The Northern College, 2013). In developing TeachNorthern since 2000, we have anchored closely and with determination to this goal.
TeachNorthern is about learning to teach for a social purpose. Our “trainee teachers” (some of them hugely experienced) are drawn from the broadest of contexts; wherever young people and adults gather for an educational experience. On any of our courses, we typically have a rich mix of volunteer, ‘proper job’ employed, freelance tutors, all ages, levels of confidence and experience, demographics; often dual professionals: rehab workers/tutors, parent support workers/tutors, volunteer managers/tutors, arts workers/tutors. They might operate in a single context or, as freelance teachers, across voluntary, community, trade union, public sectors of work. What they have in common is a social purpose heart. They want to change the world. They are usually working with the most vulnerable and disenfranchised people in our society, in order to support, encourage, empower. Or with the people who live around and among them, breaking down myths and stereotypes, finding the beauty and history in communities to grow community pride. They are often pioneers, the first, maybe, to define what they do as teaching (even to themselves or in their own workplace); taking annual leave to complete their studies or write their assignments.
As teachers map new territory in their determination to engage and empower those without hope or expectation, the literature sometimes struggles to catch up. So we blog, we tweet, we reach out and pull in the thinking of others who have scouted these lands before us, we share our findings, we create new literature through the stuff that we write. We become thinkers and we recognise that theorists are our friends.
TeachNorthern has grown and is still growing, with three points of access now, and, through the Community of Praxis (see About TeachDifferent) many more to come:
Via PTLLS – until the end of December 2013, this Level 3/4 course continues to provide opportunities for people with a broad range of experience to get what they need, either to sharpen their practice or to test out whether teaching is for them. (See TeachNorthern PTLLS for more information). From January this all changes, but no worries, our social purpose heart will stay the same.
Via Cert Ed/PGCE – the full teacher training certificate for post-14 education, this qualification is an award of the University of Huddersfield and takes two years to complete part-time. (Find out more here: TeachNorthern Cert Ed/PGCE).
Via BA Education and Professional Development – usually available as a top-up from Cert Ed, this gets you to an honours degree in two years, part-time. For self-directed students only! (See TeachNorthern BA to find out more).
Via the Community of Praxis – tweet us @teachnorthern or follow the discussions at #teachdifferent, join our ‘Community of Praxis: Teach Different’ Facebook group, sign up to our annual conference at Lanyrd or leave comments for us here on the website.
To find out more about how we TeachDifferent on the TeachNorthern programme, have a look here.
The Northern College (2013) Our Mission (online) http://www.northern.ac.uk Accessed 30.6.13