Pity if long, proud history of education faculty is lost

26th June 2009 at 01:00
The future of the education faculty at Jordanhill

It gives me no pleasure to say that the decision by Strathclyde University on the future of the education faculty at Jordanhill, which you reported last week, comes as no surprise to me.

It has been clear for some time that it does not value the contribution of the education faculty; rather, it sees it as a drain on the rest of the university.

Perhaps it is time to question whether the decision in the early 1990s to merge initial teacher education (ITE) with universities was a wise one. The raison d'etre of ITE is learning and teaching; it seems that the raison d'etre of universities has become research.

While these two activities should be synergetic, the dominance of the research assessment exercise and its related league-table mentality means that ITE will always struggle to hold the line on the importance of pedagogy.

The education faculty at Jordanhill has a long and proud history. It will be a great pity if it is lost.

Brian Boyd, emeritus professor of education, Strathclyde University.

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