PGCE days, Uni Leicester 87-88

Post Two of old pictures. Four from my PGCE year and a variety of topics a memorable year where geography was good, fieldwork was encouraged more ( I even wrote an essay about that) and I learnt some ideas that I still use 25 years later.

Picture 1: Teaching attachment. We were the group working with a sixth form between Leicester and Loughborough. The Head of Department was a Dr David Livingstone and it was made very clear that we were not to be doing any …”presuming” in our introductions! ( If this does not make sense, look at the history of African exploration, the reused to be a really good Ladybird book about it, when I was young!).

We were developing a unit of work for the 16-19 course on hills including a local field trip that we would organise. This picture was a practice day where the physical geographers amongst us trained the others. I’m still in contact with two of the group, neither teaches anymore which is a great shame. There was lots of laughter that morning,numerous David Bellamy impressions and a lot of legs disappearing into rabbit holes under the bracken. Fieldwork – bring it on.


Picture 2: the charity fundraiser. Ok I was fairly involved in proving that “postgrads are not boring” and “life is not a rehearsal”. In the summer term, essays and finalTeaching practice over we relaxed. A group of us put on a show in the SU and followed it with a Barn dance. The picture shows my solo ( no, on my own, not #SOLO) cello piece presented in a semi formal style and also shows a fine pair of Troll climbing attire ( see last post; Memories lol).


Picture 3: we finished our course with a subject week which different courses to choose how to use. The geographers (not on interviews) went to the Lake District for a week where we studied a mixture of geography topics. Our tutor was the late Patrick Bailey, a keen advocate of The Geographical Association, which I have continued to belong to. Patrick did have his own way of doing things and we clashed at times but he was a true geographer through and through and I was privileged to train under him. Some of the skills practiced on our trip some of use had done a lot having taken physical geography / geology based courses, so on occasions I would wander off to take pictures of the others. This picture shows Patrick working with Chris Ryan on his field sketching of a glacial valley’s features.


Picture 4: well I dodged the field sketching but one of the trip’s highlights was to be a walk to England’s highest point from Boot, in the Eskdale Valley where we were based at he YHA. Only three of the group had much hillwalking experience and I was asked to plan a route for the next day.
A great day was had with many memories that I will always treasure. So how do you show some unfit, non-walkers what lies ahead?

A) use the map – no they weren’t too good at contours and found interpreting the map too hard

B) show them an aerial picture / satellite image – RWD this was 1988 not available

C) draw them a picture and talk them through the route and things to consider, like how long it would take (that shocked them – although reality was longer because of maters arising). So I had a “blackboard” and a box of chalks and probably my best ever map interpretation that I ever produced – saved only because I took a picture. Remember picture 2 – look at the signature on the bottom right and guess what my nickname was.


All comments / feedback welcome on here or @aknill on Twitter. Thanks for reading.


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