Bad hair days

5th December 2003 at 00:00
I am a few months into a PGCE course. I am a mature student who left school with barely any qualifications and worked as a hairdresser for 15 years before re-entering education. I am not computer-literate and struggle with the coursework. I am also not able to get the help I need. I was reduced to tears in the computer lab when I lost all my work and have considered giving up. Why is more not done for for people like myself who have been encouraged to come into teaching because of our 'life skills?

I was similarly stuck when I did my PGCE, having no computer knowledge and having not written an essay since college 11 years earlier. At least two of my classmates left because they simply could not cope with the coursework.

PGCE providers must practise what they preach and be prepared to cater for individual needs. Essay-writing skills, taking notes in lectures and using libraries and the Internet for research are things that should be supported by meetings with a tutor more than once a week.

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