Trying to figure out which teaching programme to study is a daunting decision. Here we break down the different programmes and the decision-making process.
A Bachelor of Education (BEd), for any phase, is a professional, serious degree and finding one’s niche within a BEd is crucial to success. Depending on the age group, and nature of work you want to teach, you can choose between Foundation, Intermediate and Senior Phase.
Although all teachers are sorely needed, particularly in South Africa, proficient Language teachers at Foundation Phase are mostly in demand. Secondly, Math teachers, at all levels below Grade 10, are in demand.
Bachelor of Education (Foundation Phase)
Who is it For?
Foundation Phase is defined as Grade R to Grade 3, where ethics, manners and fundamental learning techniques are developed. Students wishing to study this phase of education should have a passion for teaching toddlers and enjoy a hands-on, practical method of teaching. This degree is not as academically demanding as Intermediate and Senior Phase. However, it is more practical-intensive and has the potential to be emotionally taxing.
After being accepted into a BEd (Foundation Phase), you are in for 4 years of studies. The degree focuses on developing 3 primary subjects of teaching, namely; language, mathematics and life skills. A large amount of practical work is required to get the degree. Students are required to assist and teach at schools during each semester.
Bachelor of Education (Intermediate Phase)
Who is it For?
Intermediate Phase is the education phase from Grade 4 to Grade 6. In this phase, more technical and academic skills are the focus. Students studying this degree are required to choose from a variety of subjects, ranging from English and Maths, to Learning Needs and Social Sciences. Students wishing to study this phase of teaching should have a passion for developing the basics of academic skills.
Again, a BEd (Intermediate Phase) is a professional, 4 year degree. Throughout the curriculum, students will be taught a variety of academic subjects in addition to professional subjects. This may include psychology, special needs etc. Although practical work is required to complete this degree, fewer practical sessions are required than in Foundation Phase.
Bachelor of Education (Senior and Further Education and Training Phase)
Who is it For?
A degree in Senior and FET Phase teaches students how to educate Grade 7 to Grade 12 pupils. This degree requires dedication to a particular specialist subject that they wish to teach, such as Accounting or Management Studies etc. Focus is put on integrating raw knowledge of the subject with effectively relaying that knowledge to the Grade 7 to 12 pupils. If you wish to pursue this phase of teaching, you should be comfortable with the fact that the degree is more academically and technically intensive than the previous 2 phases. Additionally, practical work each semester is compulsory to attain this professional degree.
After studying for 4 years, students will be trained in particular areas of self-chosen study. This is in addition to compulsory subjects, aimed at teaching students how to translate their knowledge into practical teaching application. Each semester, roughly 3 weeks of practical work must be completed, so this degree also requires less practical work than the foundation phase.
If you are uncertain, job shadow teachers at each phase of education to decide which phase you would like to teach. Job shadowing is one of the most effective methods of acquiring practical and useful career information. You can also study a specialised degree and then consider a PGCE.