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Unqualified teachers in state schools

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There has been much discussion recently about the hiring of unqualified teachers in state schools eg http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/oct/20/nick-clegg-david-laws-free-schools  The discussion seemed to reach a new height of absurdity last night on Newsnight when Tristan Hunt seemed to say quite clearly that he disagreed with it and Jeremy Paxman kept saying he was unclear.

I would not be happy for my son to be taught by an unqualified teacher for the following reasons:

1 Teacher training courses seem to provide useful training for teachers - I know I was much more competent after doing a PGCE.  This does not mean that teachers are perfect at the end of it (they never are) but the fact of having done the course gives skills and experience that will enable them to develop further afterwards.

2 A teacher who is not motivated enough to do a teacher training course is not likely to be a particularly well motivated teacher in terms of thinking about pedagogy.


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An interesting thought provoking article by Stefan Collini

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Edited by Patrick Andrews, Tuesday, 5 Apr 2011, 10:28

A very interesting article by Stefan Collin in the London Review of Books.


I think this is a good point:

" But this, other problems aside, comes perilously close to reducing important human experiences to a set of ‘preferences’ as reported on a tick-box questionnaire. I would hope the students I teach come away with certain kinds of dissatisfaction (including with themselves: a ‘satisfied’ student is nigh-on ineducable), and it matters more that they carry on wondering about the source of that dissatisfaction than whether they ‘liked’ the course or not."


Permalink 2 comments (latest comment by Patrick Andrews, Wednesday, 12 Jan 2011, 09:53)
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Physics envy

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Edited by Patrick Andrews, Tuesday, 5 Apr 2011, 10:28
I was reading the book Whoops by John Lanchester and he referred to economics having a case of physics envy, meaning that it often wants to use quantitative data in the way that the natural sciences do.  Later in the book, there are examples where this has proved to be very mistaken - some events that have happened were described as being extremely unlikely - one chance in a number bigger than all the atoms in the universe.   I suspect education does not envy physics so much but some educational research still seems to have too much faith in numbers.
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