Sunday, 27 January 2008

What makes a good teacher?

What makes a good teacher? (BBC News, Saturday, 26 January 2008)

Professor Patricia Broadfoot is quoted: "the highest quality teaching and learning comes when we have the greatest autonomy for the teacher and the learner".

Finally someone who says what everyone in the field knows.

Britain is world champion make believe. To uphold alleged (imagined) high standards, education is stifled by review committees, and more committees reviewing the review committees. Getting a trivial change to a university module approved requires so much paperwork that professors are discouraged from making highly desirable improvements to courses.

I'm not optimistic this will change anytime soon, as the UK is much too addicted to review committees, and too scared to leave responsibility with those who have to do the actual teaching. In the mean while, the gap between British and overseas students is widening.

But don't worry, we'll give prizes to students who perform slightly less badly than their classmates, so they needn't have the feeling their tuition fees are wasted.

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