Research needs to keep its status;Letter

29th January 1999 at 00:00
CHRISTOPHER Day (TES, January 15) highlighted concerns about the future of teaching. While recent initiatives should improve the conditions of the class teacher, the Green Paper makes little mention of research in education.

The focus of initial teacher education and in-service development is on "training" - the pedagogical aspect of teaching. This is important but classifies teachers as craftspeople learning a trade not intellectual professionals.

The best teachers tend to be the best learners and the research continuum stretches from the good teacher reflecting on their practice through to the academic, researching the theoretical nature of learning. The latter has been disparaged of late but theories and theorists can have a massive influence on teaching methods.

Minimising the importance of academic research will ultimately lower the status of teachers and reduce the opportunities many will need throughout their career for intellectual challenge and to reaffirm their commitment to the process of teaching and learning.

Max de Boo

Senior lecturer in education

Primary science amp; technology

University of Hertfordshire, Watford

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