Blunderbuss language

22nd December 2000 at 00:00
WE ARE extremely perturbed by the remarks attributed to John Mulgrew, president of the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland, as reported in The TES Scotland of December 8, concerning the quality of modern languages lecturers in teacher education.

Not that we object to criticism being made. In common with colleagues in other areas of education, including directors of education, we are constantly striving to improve the quality of our work and any critique which assists in this endeavour is welcome.

Our concern is to know the basis of John Mulgrew's criticism. According to your report it has been informed by "recent contact with teacher trainers in compiling the imminent report on modern languages".

The facts are that the action group on modern languages had one meeting with representatives from the teacher education sector. This meeting was attended by representatives of senior management and modern languages lecturers from each of the teacher education institutions.

The main burden of discussion was the problem of increasing the role of modern languages in the BEd degree. At no point was there any discussion on the content or the quality of provision of modern languages in teacher education courses. It is therefore hard to see how John Mulgrew can come to the conclusions that he does.

That someone who has had great responsibility thrustupon him - chairperson of the action group, president of the ADES, should resort to the blunderbuss as a weapon of attack to cast an unsubstantiated slur on a section of the education community does not bode well for education in Scotland.

We would welcome the opportunity to meet with Mr Mulgrew so that he can be properly informed about teacher education in general and modern languages provision in particular. Then he will be in a position to produce a considered evaluation which might help us all to move forward.

Bob Byiers

Senior lecturer, modern

languages, faculty of education

Glasgow University

Brian Templeton

Senior lecturer, modern

languages, faculty of education

Glasgow University

John De Cecco

Head of language education

department, faculty of education

Strathclyde University

Maria Franchetti

Lecturer, language education, faculty of education, Strathclyde University

D Tierney

Reader, language education, faculty of education, Strathclyde University

Anne Welsh

Senior lecturer, modern

languages, faculty of education

Strathclyde University

Mike Lynch

Department of curriculum studies

faculty of education

Edinburgh University

Alison Hurrell

Modern languages, Northern College

Alan Wolfe

Modern languages, Northern College

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