Pedagogic commitment

April 30, 2009

I was surprised by the solipsistic tone and narrow focus of Lewis Elton's review of Exploring Professionalism, edited by Bryan Cunningham (Books, 16 April). The review hardly does credit to the range of issues explored by the contributors and was singularly unhelpful to readers interested in looking at the subject matter in a wider context.

Elton's bleak view of "professionalism" in university teaching is even more worrying and flies in the face of advances made in this area over the past decade. Evidence from the National Teaching Fellowship scheme alone would suggest that the group of academics interested in excellent teaching is higher than "the small group" Elton identifies. Moreover, they have a much wider set of affiliations: this diversity is one of the strengths of our higher education sector.

Gus Pennington, Faceby, North Yorkshire.

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