Who needs teacher training?
Stemming from long-standing disputes over the nature of teaching itself and the extent to which it should be viewed as an art, craft or science, teacher training also seems to have been in crisis for as long as the modern profession has existed. As the next cohort of trainees begin their PGCEs, it is time to ask whether the current courses – or ‘routes’ - are fit for purpose.
Opinion also divides as to how teachers might best learn their job. Should their professional education begin with a structured introduction to the most inspirational education thinkers, or are their interests best served by giving priority to practical skills and experiences? Equally, should the teacher training curriculum focus on preparing teachers for the delivery of subject-knowledge? Or are future teachers best served by courses that initiate them into a broad range of professional issues relating to child well being? Have we refined our training processes to create the best generation of teachers ever, or lost sight of something more significant, such as the nature of education?
Dr Shirley Lawes, teacher trainer; subject leader, modern foreign languages