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The magic of teaching explained

IN AUSTRALIA there are no plans to emulate the witchcraft lessons of Harry Potter. But aspiring teachers are being urged to study the teaching methods at Hogwarts closely.

Dr Jennifer Conn, a Melbourne University medical education lecturer, said the fictional school showed how teachers should, and should not, go about their profession.

Professor Severus Snape's style of teaching should be avoided as it did little more than humiliate students, she said. In contrast, the teaching of Professor Minerva McGonagall, which includes changing a desk into a pig, was inspirational for pupils.

Teachers in the UK have been having more fun composing sentences which J.K. Rowling would never write, then posting them on the TES online staffroom. The best were by Packerguy. "The dozens of boarded-up shop fronts were a dark counterpoint to the cheerful blue and white decor of the Diagon Alley Tesco," he wrote, and: "'We're watching a video today,' muttered Professor Snape, his hangover getting the better of him."

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