Targeted at deterring dreamers

30th January 1998 at 00:00
Josephine Gardiner reports on what will be expected of English, maths and science teachers in future

The national training curriculum aims to discourage would-be recruits with vague dreams of working with children, according to the Teacher Training Agency "The curriculum establishes that this is an intellectually-challenging job demanding a very high level of skills, comparable to the most prestigious professions. It shouldn't be just because you want to do something for society or want to work with children," says the TTA's chief executive, Anthea Millett. Thus the new curriculum is seen as part of the drive to recruit more high-quality graduates.

It demands that trainees should be made aware of pedagogical pitfalls. The information technology document, for example, is tough on what computers should not be used for. IT should not be an end in itself, or be used simply to reward pupils or to dredge up endless information.

In science, trainees must ask whether an investigation is leading anywhere, and be wary of oversimplifying scientific concepts and pupils' tendency to think that all scientific ideas are incontestable.

In English, trainees must have a rock-solid grasp of grammar and literary texts, and must also be able to extend pupils' reading matter (particularly important for boys who will only read football or computer magazines). "We must avoid both turning pupils off and ending up with a dumbed-down curriculum. "

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