Technicians or teachers. Which do we want?

In today’s edition of The Guardian there is a terrific letter from the University of Manchester School of Education’s Professor Bill Boyle.

I agree that cutting PGCE training to six months is wrong (Estelle Morris, Opinion, 24 March).[my link. KC] However, in a system that requires “technicians” to present centrally disseminated, one-size-fits-all pedagogy, isn’t the reduction in training time consistent with the government’s policy of reducing teachers’ autonomy?

The government and the Training and Development Agency clearly do not subscribe to the belief that for teachers to have an understanding of child development, they should have a philosophy shaped by learning theory and its practice. Not much time for theory in a six-month programme! Until there is a reversal of the political assumption that good practice can be handed over ready-made, then six months training is probably about right – how sad is that!
Professor Bill Boyle
Chair of educational assessment, school of education, University of Manchester


How sad indeed!!!


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