The answer to a sixth-form dilemma

26th March 2004 at 00:00
Jacquie Bingen is not struggling for answers when asked why she wants to teach A-level maths. "More variety, different pupils, smaller groups to teach, a slightly different subject. It's good news," said the 43-year-old second-in-department at Woodway Park comprehensive, Coventry.

Mrs Bingen, who also wants to teach A-level so she can help her current Year 10s get top grades in the sixth form, hopes to become one of the first to take the postgraduate award in A-level maths pedagogy course.

She has taught at the school for the past nine years, but has found her chances to teach A-level limited because of her lack of qualifications in the subject. Although she has a postgraduate certificate in education in maths, her original degree was in electronic engineering.

For the past two years, she has been studying A-level maths herself one night a week at a local further education college.

But this, she said, was not ideal, as the course does not cover teaching technique. So Mrs Bingen is likely to jump at the chance to study on the Warwick universityMEI route.

Only one of Woodway Park's four maths teachers has a first degree in the subject, and only two have been taking the subject at A-level.

Stephen Warne, the head of department, took an English literature degree followed by an Open university maths qualification which enables him to teach the subject at A-level.

He said the new qualification would be much more effective than his OU course because it included work on the teaching of maths A-level.

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