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Equality and Diversity

Asian woman PGCE student

Today's youth need to be exposed to the variety of nationalities found in our society, and what better way than having a teacher belonging to an ethnic minority group as a figure that children grow up being inspired by.

Student profile: Sema

To promote higher education amongst youngsters from ethnic minority background, we need top calibre teachers from similar backgrounds who could be emulated as great role models, so we particularly welcome applications from sections of the communities which are under represented in the teaching profession.

Teachers from a range of ethnicities can contribute to the achievement and morale of pupils belonging to different communities and backgrounds which in turn is likely to make an impact on future generations of ethnic communities.

It is believed that the experiences minority group teachers bring to their jobs will help them to be empathetic toward and skilled in crossing cultural and linguistic boundaries in a school context. In many areas of the country the number of ethnic minority pupils is rising in state schools. The Faculty of Education is very keen to take part in supporting initiatives to increase the number of trainee teachers from ethnic minorities.

The University may seem intimidating to some applicants but in reality staff at the Faculty are very approachable. We are keen to recruit able trainee teachers that reflect the diversity of society; what matters to us is admitting the best trainees, regardless of background, social or ethnic origin. Selection of all candidates is made on the basis of abilities, qualifications and experiences.

Read more about Sema's experiences.

Student profile: Lucy

Why Early Years teaching? During the Early Years children are developing their own beliefs, values and interests. They are natural explorers and as a teacher is it so exciting to open up a world of possibility for them to experience. It is a privilege to be with children during such a formative part of their lives. Children learn through play and playful experience and have no barriers to fun. It is wonderful to be part of this every day and fun for teachers too.

Why PGCE? The benefits of the PGCE for me were that it gives a quality foundation of theory behind the practice. As a mature student with some years experience with young children my theoretical knowledge lags behind my practical experience. The PGCE route I felt would give me the best theoretical understanding.

Through the year the PGCE gives a broad exposure to a variety of different teaching settings. We get professional placements in 2 or 3 different settings and time in 6 or 7 further schools or nurseries. I feel this gives an excellent insight into the type of setting that I would want to work in and informs my future practice immeasurably.

As a parent the PGCE practically works for me in that my study hours fit within childcare hours each day. Some other options I looked at had long study days that I simply would not have been able to attend.

Why Cambridge? The quality of the teaching on the course is excellent. The supportive and friendly atmosphere through the whole course. Tutors, lecturers and the faculty team work very hard and obviously so to ensure that students are fully supported.

The active and high-quality research that is carried out in Cambridge filters down to the PGCE teaching. You feel that you are can start your practice having reflected on the most current thinking available. Our teachers are also passionate researchers and this come through in their enthusiasm for what they teach.

And as an ex library team member of course I want to add that the Faculty has the most helpful and supportive academic library service I have ever come across.

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