The PME is a 2 year, 120 credits, Level 9 programme. Professional accreditation is provided by The Teaching Council.
The PME is a 2 year full time programme.
On the PME programme in Trinity College, a School Placement is bookended by periods of Observation and Reflection. A School Placement, therefore, consists of three stages, all of which comprise the School Placement i.e.:
Figure 1: School Placement on the PME in Trinity College
1. Structured Observation & Preparation – This stage is designed to help the student prepare and settle into the school before they start to teach on their own. During this period, students will observe their treoraithe (cooperating teachers) and study the school’s various policies. Students will complete tasks which are set out by the College in their Structured Observation & Preparation Handbooks. Students must conduct their observation and preparation in school. Students may teach some classes whilst their treoraí (cooperating teacher) remains in the room. Students may engage in team teaching during this period. Engaging in teaching and/or team teaching during the Observation period is at the discretion of the school. Students will also have some scheduled College contact time which will help them to prepare to begin their teaching.
For Year 1 PMEs, as this is their first placement, students complete two Structured Observation Periods – two weeks before Christmas and one week after Christmas. Student teachers must complete a minimum of 3 hours of Structured Observation per day during Structured Observation weeks i.e. a minimum of 2 hours Structured Observations of classes and a minimum of 1 hour Structured Observation of non-classroom school activities (such as, for example, an assembly, a sports game, a school club, musical rehearsals) per day. Students will also complete two Structured Observation & Preparation Handbooks during this period i.e. one for their first Structured Observation & Preparation period and another handbook for their second Observation & Preparation period.
2. Structured Teaching Weeks – At this stage, students must take sole responsibility for their classes. This is the period of time during which your School Placement Tutor(s) will visit to observe classes. Student teachers must have a minimum of 9 hours direct teaching in their Major subject per teaching week, plus 1 ‘class’ in their Minor subject per teaching week during each of the 12 teaching weeks.
3. Stage 3 - Structured Reflection & Debriefing – During this stage, students will complete tasks which are set out by the College in their Reflection Handbook. Students must conduct their reflections in school. Students will also have some scheduled College contact time which will help them to reflect on their first School Placement and create an action plan for their second School Placement. Student teachers must engage with a minimum of 4 hours of Structured Reflection tasks per day during Structured Reflection week.
Our Year 1 PME students must complete 12 weeks of teaching. Their teaching weeks are ‘bookended’ by periods of Structured Observation & Preparation and a period of Structured Reflection.
Dates for 2024-25 are as follows:
Table 1: School Placement Dates for Year 1 PME 2024-25 in Trinity College, Dublin.
Year 1 PME students must teach:
- A total of 9 hours per teaching week for 12 weeks in their Major subject.
- At least one class per teaching week for 12 weeks in their Minor subject (the ‘class’ may be 35, 40, 50, 55, or 60 minutes as is determined by the school).
- Year 1 PME students are typically scheduled to teach Junior Cycle classes only (though this is at the discretion of the school).
- Year 1 PME students are typically not scheduled to teach exam classes (though this is at the discretion of the school).
Students must secure a School Placement within 85 km from Trinity College.
Placement schools are asked to:
- facilitate two periods of Structured Observation of 3 hours observation per day minimum, at the start of the Year 1 School Placement (before students begin teaching):
- Observation & Preparation Period 1 - Monday, 2nd December 2024 – Friday, 13th December 2024 (inclusive)
- Observation & Preparation Period 2 - Monday, 6th January 2025 – Friday, 10th January, 2025 (inclusive)
- offer Year 1 PME students the opportunity to teach a minimum of 9 hours per week in their Major subject plus 1 ‘class’ per teaching week in their Minor subject, over the 12 teaching weeks (Teaching Weeks - Monday, 13th 2025 – Fri. 11th April (inclusive))
- provide PME students with classes that contain a minimum of 15 students.
- assign one or more cooperating teachers (treoraithe) to support the student teacher during their placement.
- facilitate a period of Structured Reflection of 4 hours of Structured Reflection tasks per day minimum, at the end of their School Placement (after they have completed their 12 weeks of teaching) - Monday, 28th April, 2025 – Friday, 4th May, 2025 (inclusive)
- facilitate the student teacher’s participation in non-teaching activities and encourage them to become involved in the life of the school.
agree a timetable which will allow the PME student to attend lectures in Trinity College, commencing at 4pm on Monday – Thursday evenings.
Year 1 PME students will be in the school Monday to Thursday during their Structured Observation period, Teaching Weeks and Structured Reflection Week. Students will have classes in Trinity College commencing at 4pm on Monday – Thursday evenings.
No. Co-teaching does not count for School Placement hours, as the student teacher must teach the classes of 15 students, independently in order to allow our School Placement Tutors the opportunity to assess the student teacher.
Schools may wish to support the teacher when they first start to teach by having a teacher team teach with them or by having a teacher remain in the room with them in the Structured Observation period. However, student teachers must have sole responsibility for teaching classes as School Placement is an assessment period.
No. Resource classes do not count for School Placement hours, as the student teacher must teach the classes of 15 students, independently in order to allow our School Placement Tutors the opportunity to assess the student teacher.
Students may complete their placements in a recognised DES funded post primary school, within a 85 km radius from Trinity College. Students can get a list of schools here – Find a School
In Trinity, PME students complete two 12 week School Placements, one 12 week placement in Year 1 and a second 12 week placement in Year 2 of the PME.
Figure 2: School Placements on the PME in Trinity College – Year 1 & Year 2
No. Student teachers must carry out School Placement in two different schools. School Placement must comprise a minimum of two placement settings incorporating a variety of teaching situations, class levels and school contexts, including Irish medium schools. Therefore, students must secure a different school for your second School Placement in Year 2.
No. School Placement is an examination period and as such, the School Placement assessment period remains the same for each student.
If a student teacher becomes ill on School Placement and they must miss a day or days at school, they must contact the school, their School Placement Tutor and the PME office (email@example.com). Relevant Medical Certificates must be provided. Hours missed will have to be made up before the end of the placement.
School Placement is an examination period and as such, student teachers are expected to behave in a manner which befits the role of student teacher and the regulations of assessment.
During the PME, student teachers are both student and teacher. This is discussed with students in our School Placement module prior to starting School Placement. Student teachers have been alerted to the fact that their students will see them as a teacher from the very start and therefore, they must behave as one. Their professionalism will be expressed in their:
- care and respect for the students in their classes
- attitude of helpfulness and willingness to learn within the school
- way of dressing
- readiness to learn and respect the ethos and practices of the school
The student teachers are also subject to the Teaching Council’s Graduate Teacher Standards which outline the skills, knowledge, understanding, and professional values expected of newly qualified teachers. In this respect, student teachers are expected to use these standards as a tool to support their ongoing development, including reflective practice and enquiry pedagogies (Céim: Standards for Initial Teacher Education, Teaching Council, 2020 pp. 20-25).
Yes. All student teachers will have Garda Vetting in place before they start School Placement. This is mandatory before students begin School Placement.
Incoming PME students must complete and return a Garda Vetting Application form to Academic Registry prior to commencing the course. PME students will not be permitted to commence their School Placement until they have been Garda vetted. Students will not be permitted to begin their placement until their student vetting application is processed and approved in accordance with the TCD Student Vetting policy.
All student teachers will have completed:
- The Tusla Child Safe Guarding eLearning Module
- The Tusla Mandated Person eLearning Module
It is mandatory for student teachers to complete both of the above prior to starting School Placements. Students will be able to provide their Tusla certification for the above.
Students commence the programme in September with an in-depth Orientation programme. From that point onwards, until the students begin their first School Placement in December, we work with the students to ensure that they are as prepared as possible for their first School Placement.
The PME programme in Trinity College provides a high level of integration between theory and practice. This is achieved through the four main components which work in a spiral, iterative manner:
Figure 3: Components of the Trinity College, PME
During their first semester in Year 1, students are expected to attend lectures, tutorials and preparatory sessions in Trinity College. In the second semester, students will participate in a twelve-week block School Placement, prioritising Junior Cycle classes, with responsibility for planning, implementing, assessing and evaluating allocated classes. During their block School Placement, students will attend pedagogical support sessions in College on week day late afternoons (after school). These sessions are designed to maximise student learning and opportunities for reflection during School Placement and to facilitate the integration of theory with practice. Opportunities for collaborative reflective activity are supported by our e-learning platform.
When students return from School Placement, they will participate in placement review and evaluation activities, and complete a Research Methods programme in order to prepare them to write a detailed research proposal for their thesis in Year 2. The research proposal is designed to draw on the material included in students’ teaching and learning Portfolio which includes all Units of Learning, Lesson Plans, Observations, Reflections, Action Plans and Placement Feedback from the beginning of the programme.
During their first semester of Year 2, students participate in a twelve-week Advanced School Placement module, in a different school to where they completed their first School Placement, covering both Junior and Senior Cycle classes. Student teachers must have full responsibility to plan, deliver and evaluate all aspects of the classes they teach and engage fully in the day-to-day life of a school. Student teachers will attend evening pedagogical support sessions in College every two weeks in their second year.
During their second semester, students will attend lectures, workshops and seminars in College, and undertake Advanced Pedagogical Studies and Research. This is designed to equip students with the relevant knowledge and skills to reflect on their periods of School Placement and academic studies in education and to complete a substantial research project (10,000 word minor thesis).
Dates for 2024-25 applications are as follows:
- Application Opening Date: Opening soon [Apply Now]
- Application Closing Date: Friday, 24th November, 2023
- Interviews: Interviews will be held week commencing Monday, 11th December, 2023.
You can contact our Programme Director: Dr Louise Heeran Flynn at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Programme Administrator is Ms Dearbhail Gallagher.
Tel: 00 353 1 8961488
Applicants will normally hold at least a primary honours degree (NFQ Level 8) which complies with the Teaching Council’s Curricular Subject Requirements for at least one subject from the list of those taught at Leaving Certificate level in Ireland.
Applicants are short listed for interview on the basis of our Application Scoring System Sheet (PDF) including what qualifies as relevant professional or voluntary experience. Applicants will be expected to have an Honours Bachelor degree. Applicants should hold or expect to secure a 2.2 degree or higher.
Applicants must provide two academic references or one academic reference and one professional reference from relevant professional experience. All academic references must be from a third-level institution.
The School of Education is committed to ensuring an inclusive approach to education with a broad and diverse teaching profession. We shortlist and interview candidates on the basis of their degree award and their professional and life experiences. Students will be required to undergo Garda Vetting.
Specific Entry Requirements to the Teaching Profession
Applicants should be aware of specific entry criteria to the teaching profession which are set and regulated by the Department of Education and Skills in association with the Teaching Council of Ireland, and which must be satisfied independently of the School of Education's entry requirements.
Applicants are required to have a Level 8 degree which satisfies the Curricular Subject Requirements set and regulated by the Department of Education and Skills in association with the Teaching Council of Ireland. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ascertain whether their specific qualifications are in accordance with the Teaching Council requirements, satisfying the general and specific criteria for post primary registration purposes and including the requisite number of European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) credits.
Therefore, as part of the application process, applicants are required to complete a Self Declaration Form (SDF) regarding their eligibility to teach specific curricular subjects, where they map their Level 8 credits to the Curricular Subject Requirements.
Teaching Council regulations stipulate that, in addition to holding a Level 8 degree which has an ECTS weighting of at least 180 credits on the NFQ (or equivalent), you must meet the requirements for at least one post primary curricular subject.
The PME is offered in the School of Education with specialisms in nine post primary curriculum subjects. Applicants select one at the time of application as their Major subject:
- Business Studies (including Accounting and Economics)
- An Ghaeilge
- Mathematics (including Applied Mathematics)
- Modern Languages (including French, German, Italian, Spanish and other Curricular Languages)
- Science (including Biology, Chemistry and Physics)
Students must also chose a Minor subject from the above list.
As a responsive, holistic, research informed programme, the PME aims to prepare students for a dynamic and evolving teaching profession by developing critical and analytical skills, integrating research and practice across school and college contexts and facilitating a reflective, inclusive research informed approach to teaching, learning and assessment. We aim to encourage students to take responsibility for their own learning and support their development as inclusive, reflective practitioners who are committed to continuous improvement of their practice. Our aims are informed by a dialogical, constructivist teaching and learning philosophy which promotes a high level of in active and creative class engagement by students. We model best practice in active, creative and inclusive teaching, learning and assessment on the programme with the aim that our student teachers, will, in turn, use these methods in their classes. This approach in turn, facilitates students in developing safe, inclusive and welcoming learning environments for their pupils. The programme recognises the importance of student agency within a structured professional programme and encourages student teachers in turn to appreciate the role of their pupils as agents of own learning. As well as focusing on how we teach, the programme aims to develop the student teacher’s subject mastery and subject competence. Partnership with education stakeholders is an essential part of our programme and conceptual framework; working with our education partners we ensure that our programme remains relevant and responsive to national priorities and allows for opportunities to forge links between the sites of practice of the school and the university.
Our programme aims to develop in our students:
- a critical knowledge and understanding of their subject matter and the discipline of education underpinned by research and integration of new knowledge within their practice
- a sense of the broad context of Irish education as part of society as a whole and ability to evaluate the place of teachers and schools within this context through a variety of disciplinary and research-based approaches
- an appreciation and understanding of the complicated and holistic nature of the teacher’s role as professional in a school and wider societal context; the importance of professional relationships, and of the function[s] of schools in society
- a commitment to act responsibly in line with the professional values outlined in the Graduate Standards and the Code of Professional Conduct for Teachers, and the ability to reflect on the implications of these values for their practice
- knowledge and critical understanding of a range of models of active, creative and inclusive teaching, learning and assessment methods, to facilitate the development of coherent, inclusive and integrated teaching and learning experiences
- the ability and willingness to act as a responsive, inclusive, holistic practitioner
- the ability to think independently informed by reflective, research-informed practice; adopting critical insights into practice as appropriate
In keeping with the Teaching Council’s Céim: Standards for Initial Teacher Education (2020), our PME places heightened emphasis on seven core areas which are embedded in our PME programme:
- Inclusive Education: This includes the fostering of appropriate learning environments, including digital ones, that support the development of student teachers’ ability to provide for the learning needs of all pupils by utilising, for example, a Universal Design for Learning framework.
- Global Citizenship Education: To include Education for Sustainable Development; Wellbeing (personal and community); Social Justice, Interculturalism. There should be demonstrable integration between Inclusive Education and Global Citizenship Education rooted in the principle of care for others.
- Professional Relationships and Working with Parents: To include working with parents, pupils, peers, external agencies and others; preparing for school placement; the school as a learning community; and legislation relevant to the school and classroom.
- Professional Identity and Agency: To include support for the development of the teacher as a self-reflective autonomous professional who demonstrates the four values outlined in the Code of Professional Conduct for Teachers, and the teacher as a lifelong learner (and Treoraí) in relation to the continuum of teacher education.
- Creativity and Reflective Practice: To include fostering a creative mindset among student teachers, teachers as reflective practitioners; teachers as innovators; teachers as researchers; teachers’ relationship with the school as a learning community and the development of Taisce to support the process of portfolio-based learning.
- Literacy and Numeracy: Programme design shall ensure that student teachers are afforded opportunities to enhance their own literacy and numeracy and are required to demonstrate an acceptable level of proficiency in literacy and numeracy. Students shall be required to demonstrate their competence in teaching and assessing literacy and numeracy appropriate to their curricular/subject area(s).
- Digital Skills: To include Digital Literacy; the use of digital technologies to support teaching, learning and assessment for all learners; the integration of digital skills across the programme including opportunities for student teachers to explore new and emerging technologies.
Please refer to Céim: Standards for Initial Teacher Education (The Teaching Council, 2020).
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As ITE providers, we are currently reconceptualising both our PME and B.Mus. Ed. programmes.
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Absolutely. Schools continue to use their professional discretion when accepting a student teacher and as such, they may ask a student teacher for a C.V. or a meeting prior to offering the student a placement in the school.