Why 'anti-intellectual' teachers?;Making the Connection conference

22nd May 1998 at 01:00
There is a mountain to climb in combating the "deeply anti-intellectual" culture of teachers at work, Pamela Munn, a professor of curriculum research at Moray House Institute, told the conference.

She said that teachers' reluctance to engage with research was partly because of heavy classroom loads and reliance on automatic use of routine procedures and strategies. "We need to move away from the idea that a teacher is only working when he or she is in front of a class full of pupils or marking assignments."

Professor Munn said that the competence-based approach to teacher education, which has neglected the social, economic and political roles of schools, contributed to anti-intellectualism.

It also militated against research projects by teachers. Professional development should seek to encourage teacher inquiry. Research might "start small" with one or two people in a school, preferably supported by the headteacher and other senior staff.

The difficulties should not be underestimated. Research was "an enormous addition to a teacher's work". It depended on publication and because in schools it was mostly by individuals and was fragmented, its results did not spread into the education system.

Professor Munn attacked the "crazy" mechanics of national research projects. The Scottish Office asked for tenders for projects that were too short and brought too little money. "I estimate that it costs pound;2,000 for each tender. So across the country the cost to bidders may be more than the pound;15,000 or pound;20,000 value of the project."

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now