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New 'Becoming a teacher' course launched on FutureLearn

Teacher writing on whiteboard

Academics from The Open University’s Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) and The Open University in Wales have created a new free short course, ‘Becoming a teacher’, hosted on FutureLearn

The four-week course is designed to help students and those thinking of a career change to decide if teaching is the right path for them.

Teaching experts at The Open University, student teachers, and teachers themselves discuss what it’s really like to work in primary and secondary schools – challenging some common assumptions along the way.

The course materials will help to give a sense of what teaching is really like and start learners on the path to writing their application for initial teacher education.

'The OU’s existing downloadable "Becoming a Teacher" guide helps thousands of potential teachers every year,' said Ben Oakley, Professor of Sports Performance Education. 'We wanted to develop a more in-depth and interactive bite-sized course into teaching as a career, to help many more.'

'Using archive footage created in partnership with the BBC, along with new material, we wanted to produce an online course that showed all facets of teaching, both the good and the bad, that will help potential teachers make an informed choice before entering the field,' said Dr Azumah Dennis, EdD Programme Leader. 

The OU has been educating teachers since its very beginnings, over fifty years ago. As we move into the next phase of our teaching, with the introduction of the PGCE in Wales, I’m eager to start leading a new cohort of trainee teachers into one of the best professions available.

Sarah Stewart
Director of PGCE in Wales

Registrations for the free ‘Becoming a teacher’ course are now open, with the first programme beginning in early June. The course will continue to be available through the summer and onwards.  

Meet the academics behind the course

Four academics from the School of Education, Childhood, Youth and Sport developed the course.

Sarah Stewart, PGCE Programme Director (Wales): 'I have always felt a deep commitment to ensuring all children get the best chance at an education, which I truly believe can make all the difference to their lives. Working on a teacher education programme gives me the opportunity to share my passion and commitment for learning with many other aspiring teachers – so that they too can go out and transform children’s lives.'

Dr Azumah Dennis is programme leader for the OU’s EdD Programme: 'Since starting in adult education I’ve never looked back. There is nothing I like more than being part of the transformational change in people’s lives that education makes possible.' 

Ben Oakley, Professor of Sports Performance Education: 'An important part of my teaching at The Open University is writing courses like this with specific audiences in mind, and exploring how to teach new topics; trying to find innovative ways to capture people’s attention and encourage their interest in a field.'

Dr Liz Chamberlain, Senior Lecturer in Education: 'Originally I didn't want to be a teacher, but my mum had other plans! I struggled on my first placement, until I started doing what I believed in and engaged the children with storytelling. 33 years on I'm still a teacher, but now as a teacher educator involved in teacher education in development contexts. I still work and teach children, and I am a firm advocate for primary teachers and the crucial role they play. My key message to them is always, "Make sure you're passionate about education and know the difference a good teacher can make."'

Further information

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