A little less Frank 1

May 13, 2005

It is time that the ill-informed and emotional outbursts by Frank Furedi and others criticising programmes to develop the teaching of new lecturers were confronted with some published evidence (Letters, April 22 and 29; Working Knowledge, May 6).

The largest study of such programmes involved 22 universities in eight countries. It showed significant improvements in trained teachers'

approaches to teaching in student ratings of teaching, and in students'

approaches to studying. A control group who received no training got worse over their first year.

The publication of this evidence was covered at length in The Times Higher .

Let's have a little more of the scholarship that Furedi et al claim to value. The programme at Oxford University, which is research-informed, is voluntary yet oversubscribed.

Graham Gibbs
Oxford University

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