Mad about Manchester

November 17, 2006

If I were a student again, I'd be protesting about the paucity of lectures.

Quite rightly, our students want value for money and they're not getting it.

When I was at Cambridge University in the 1970s, lectures were seen as a valuable means of learning, if only to protest when one professor chose to turn a session on "Tudor government" into an attack on the Labour Government.

Good didactic teaching has its place at every phase of education, from primary to tertiary.

Student-centred investigation is also important: we need to develop independent learners. The problem is that our deans and dons, bogged down by paperwork and under pressure to win funding by maximising research, have urged student-centred learning as a convenient excuse to avoid lecturing.

I rejoice that today's students are once again recognising the need for expert teaching.

Well, professor, all is forgiven. Surfing the web is no substitute for the real thing.

Quentin Deakin
Green Party Spokesperson for higher and further education

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