Marc is full-time student studying for the PGCE Religious Education. He is a barrister and has worked in chambers, with the Australian Government and as in-house counsel in Singapore and in the UK. Before coming to the department he also appeared as Counsel Assisting the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody in Queensland and taught law and jurisprudence in Australian universities.
What first attracted you to teaching?
A passion for learning, for bettering oneself and engaging with and sharing these experiences with others.
Why did you choose to do a PGCE?
Having taught law students for some years I thought it was about time I had some formal training in teaching and gained some insights into contemporary educational theory and pedagogy.
Why did you choose to do your PGCE at Oxford?
The Oxford PGCE programme has a very good reputation. Indeed, the University and Oxford itself are ideal locations to live and study in.
How have you been supported throughout the course?
Advice was always readily available from my university tutors and school mentors.
What have been the highlights of the year?
The Garden Party, the positive responses my pupils gave me throughout both placements and, of course, finishing the programme!
Do you have any advice for someone thinking about applying to Oxford’s PGCE?
The academic component of the PGCE is both challenging and rewarding. You need to be quite well organised to keep abreast of its requirements as well as your own day-to-day teaching responsibilities.
Do you have any advice for someone preparing to start their Oxford PGCE?
Familiarise yourself with the electronic general and subject-specific components of the PGCE programme as early as possible. Being organised will place you in good stead. That said, enjoy getting to know your cohorts for they will be your primary backup.
What was the application process, including the interview, like at Oxford?
The admission process, including the interview, is a relatively easy and calm experience. You don’t need to panic, just think about why the PGCE is important for you.
What do you hope to do once you’ve completed your degree?
I plan to pursue doctoral studies in education.
What do you hope to achieve through teaching?
A better understanding of how all the participants in the classroom or lecture theatre―teachers, lecturers, pupils and students alike―can together gain a deeper understanding and more critical appreciation of themselves and the world they live in.
What do you most value about the teaching at the department?
The manifold of intellectual and practical discussions in departmental seminars and the lively entertainment that often ensued.
What are the biggest misconceptions about teaching?
That you can just turn up in the classroom and wing it! You can, of course, but only with practice and confidence and these personal attributes take time to master. For me, the key was to think about what I wanted pupils to take away from each of my classes.
What has your degree taught you most?
To remain humble.
What’s your favourite thing about studying at the department?
The friendly atmosphere and the site visits in Oxford and London.
What further opportunities have you gained so far through your degree?
Confirmation of my desire to complete a doctorate.
Did the College add anything to the quality of your student experience, and if so how?
If you chose to live in college, the support you will receive will certainly help you through some of the tough days you will endure during the year. I happened to live close by but made a point of visiting college when I could; attending formal dinners, socialising with my cohorts, and so on. College life will be an important part of your Oxford experience.