Letters Extra: No false idols

6th December 2002 at 00:00

The headline "Select band of providers could share expertise with others" ( TES , November 22) fills one with dismay. The principle of teacher training providers engaging in staff development across institutions is laudable and deserves to be strengthened, but the assumption that this is best achieved through the designation of certain providers as models is highly questionable. There are already mechanisms in place which allow for the dissemination of good practice, including a range of courses, conferences and other events organised by such bodies as UCET, NaPTEC and of course the TTA itself.

The recent initiative established by the TTA to fund regional networks and their projects is surely another crucial and potentially democratic way of promoting staff development across both institutions and school-based providers. However, the designation of certain providers as the repositories of wisdom flies in the face of the complexities of initial teacher education and would be at risk of generating another layer of competitiveness at a time when most of us engaged in teacher preparation are wanting to promote collaboration and respect for each other's practice, not the worship of idols.

Robert Young, Chair, National Primary Teacher Education Council (NaPTEC), University of Greenwich School of Education and Training nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;

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