'Heads warn of deficient basic skills' - online readers reply

30th July 2010 at 01:00

Perhaps the problem of deficient skills (TESS, July 9) lies with the teacher training centres. When was the last time some of the lecturers stood in front of a class of 30 pupils? Maybe if they didn't pass some of the students they allow into the profession, there would be fewer problems?


The training centres need to put more emphasis on ensuring that an unsatisfactory grading is awarded when it is deserved. There seems to be pressure to support, rather than challenge, students who are not doing well. Graduates should be at the minimum satisfactory standard when they start their probationary year and build on that through experience and CPD. It should not be enough for a probationer to reach "satisfactory" level by the end of the probationer year.


Emphasis these days is on methodology in the classroom rather than what the children are learning. To determine who is a good teacher, managers and inspectors tend to concentrate on how the class is being taught rather than what and whether or not it is effective. I have come across teachers who do not know times tables, proper grammar, or even how to tell the time, and cannot pass these skills on to pupils. Nevertheless, they are touted as paragons because they are teaching in the "correct" way.


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