Was reading this blog post by Stuart Ball (Microsoft Partner in Learning, Twitter:@innovativeteach) and it set me thinking. What really is the best way forward? Should we be focusing on a ‘prescriptive’, ‘better’ curriculum, or should we be focusing on getting better teachers into the profession? I know dear Mr Gove will say that we need both, but their idea is to ‘up’ the criteria for admitting recruits into the profession on a purely academic basis, throwing in a couple of psychometric tests just to make sure. So providing you can come out with a Masters in something, and can provide all the correct answers on your ‘personality test’, a teacher you shall be. With no mention, initially, of what you would be like actually in front of a class. And this is where I think more focus needs to be. Yes you need to have academic qualifications, but it’s no good having four doctorates if you can’t connect with the children – and that’s what counts.
So there needs to be some way, in my opinion, of determining which candidates would be better suited to teaching through practical means. Some part of some interview process, somehow, needs to include the applicant interacting with some children. And this should carry a fair weight in the final decision.
But I doubt this will ever happen, because, as we all know, a few letters after your name and a high score on your personality questionnaire will suffice.