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CHE > Media and Publications > Frameworks Criteria > Criteria and Minimum Standards for the PGCE
January, 2006

Programme Purpose

The PGCE is as a 120 NQF credit, Level 6 qualification. The Norms and Standards for Educators (February, 2000) defines the PGCE as:

… a generalist educator's qualification that 'caps' an undergraduate qualification. As an access requirement candidates are required to have appropriate prior learning which leads to general foundational and reflexive competence. The qualification focuses mainly on developing practical competence reflexively grounded in educational theory.

Students entering the programme are thus assumed to have acquired the appropriate level of subject content knowledge in the Bachelor's degree. In order to prepare competent teachers within the limited period of one year of full-time or two years of part-time study, a PGCE programme should:

  • Consolidate subject knowledge and develop appropriate pedagogical content knowledge.
  • Cultivate a practical understanding of teaching and learning in a diverse range of South African schools, in relation to educational theory, phase and/or subject specialisation, practice and policy.
  • Foster self-reflexivity and self-understanding among prospective teachers.
  • Nurture commitment to the ideals of the teaching profession and an understanding of teaching as a profession.
  • Develop the professional dispositions and self-identity of students as teachers.
  • Develop students as active citizens and enable them to develop the dispositions of citizenship in their learners.
  • Promote and develop the dispositions and competences to organize learning among a diverse range of learners in diverse contexts.

It is assumed that students who achieve the exit level outcomes will be competent novice teachers who will still need time, experience and appropriate support to develop as fully-fledged extended professionals.

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