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.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today