More than 'mere facilitators'

23rd September 2011 at 01:00

Claire Fox is off-beam when she talks so disparagingly of teachers as "mere facilitators, even co-learners" ("Blaming others for the riots is a cop out", 16 September).

All subjects have a weight of knowledge and understanding which teachers should transmit untarnished. But even in subjects such as English and history, where this weight is overwhelming, no teacher has read everything worth reading or has a full view of all the arguments. Helping a child explore beyond your comfort zone is surely one of the joys of teaching.

A teacher's authority is more dependent on accumulated wisdom and skill than it is on knowledge of the present. Take Ray Mears to a wilderness he has never visited or studied and he remains as much a trusted guide as he would be in a Hampshire woodland.

Ralph Lucas, House of Lords.

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