Let people think for themselves

22nd January 2010 at 00:00

I seem to have touched a raw nerve with Graeme Nixon (December 18). When I said that the theory of pedagogy is far removed from the practice of it, I was referring to the gap between the rhetoric of initial teacher education and the reality of the practice of some of the students in classrooms. Obviously, there are excellent students, but some principal teachers in schools are being pressurised by ITE tutors to give failing students a passing report.

It is true that it is many years since I've had a student placement, but I have always ticked the "yes" box to students. So please send them to me, Graeme - and, unlike you, I will not be instilling criticality or anything else in them. I prefer people to think for themselves, even if it leads to them being labelled as "reactionary, selective and oppositional". Thinkers are then developed, ideas are generated, society is challenged and good teachers are made.

Incidentally, in 2007, I did have an NQT in my department. That experience has added gravitas to my observations.

Marj Adams. department of religious education, Forres Academy.

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