A little less Frank 2

May 13, 2005

Frank Furedi manages the difficult task of being even more insubstantial and baseless than your original report on Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education programmes ("Lecturers bored by lessons in teaching", April 22).

Furedi's rant suggests that "the very idea of accrediting academics as teachers is fundamentally flawed". This is apparently because, like all forms of accreditation, the PGCHE involves "socialisation", but unlike courses for doctors and others, these programmes are "almost exclusively about socialising academics into the ethos of the audit culture that dominates the campus and... indoctrinating new lecturers into values of a conformist orientation towards teaching".

The people who run these courses think they are developing critical reflective thinkers, but Furedi knows better. They are turning out "template teachers" who are changed against their will and without their knowledge in imperceptible ways that fit the needs of managerialism. They are just dupes, unable to see through the rhetoric until they read Furedi's insights. Is it not at least possible that some programmes mean what they say about critical thinking? Might they not embody a view of the teacher as a professional making learning as good as it can be for students along with a critical understanding of the ways in which managerialism, state pressures and the audit culture make this difficult?

Of course, this kind of critical perspective might also lead colleagues to doubt the credibility of a writer who throws around words such as "indoctrination" so freely but constructs what passes for a serious article around a collection of supercilious assertions, cheap gibes and a piece of unsupported hack work.

John Clarke
Liverpool John Moores University

to read this article.

Register to continue

Get a month's unlimited access to THE content online. Just register and complete your career summary.

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments