Tarring trainees

11th September 2009 at 01:00

As a lecturer in science education, I am writing to express my concerns over your article, "Brain dead? The trainees who think kids learn while they chat" (September 4). While I do not dismiss the findings presented by Dr Howard-Jones, I do find their over-generalisation somewhat disconcerting and the tarring of trainees with this brush at least unfair.

Trainees are just that; trainees. They are setting out to learn and develop the knowledge and pedagogical skills that make a good teacher. This study involved a small sample of trainees from one institution. Not only does the article suggest that all trainees are lacking in any training in "nurturing the connectivity of the brain on a daily basis", but implicit in this is that all teacher training institutions are not fulfilling their charge of preparing trainees for the classroom.

The "alarming findings" mentioned in the article are without doubt genuine. However, I do feel that the presentation of them in the context offers a rather damning perception of trainee teachers and their training institutions.

Leigh Hoath, Lecturer in science education, Bradford College University Centre.

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