Letters extra: why teachers are undervalued

15th June 2001 at 01:00

What do the reactions from teachers about being "undervalued" mean? On the one hand we have a Government claiming to have placed education at the top of the agenda, and on the other teachers increasingly vehemently express a feeling of being abused, blamed and belittled.

Could it be that there is a mis-match between the Government's pragmatic, short-term targets and those profounder values which attract future teachers?

When teachers are increasingly directed towards simplistic strategies about "how" to teach, conditions are created which inhibit the energies of the people who have the potential to develop into quality teachers.

We could of course, redefine "a good teacher" and portray "education" as a neat and efficient preparation for aspects of our future, and we might then even find the right kind of people to deliver these programmes. But then we might suddenly find that the most dynamic education begins to take place elsewhere else in a less structured environment.

Tim Bos
Loughborough, Leicestershire

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