Skilled up

June 9, 2006

As a senior lecturer who leads several modules on a programme leading to a postgraduate diploma in education, I agree that many new staff find these courses demanding in terms of time ("Teaching courses prove a struggle", May 26).

But based on my experience, it is not so much the course but rather all the other workload pressures that are put on junior academics at the beginning of their careers that make it difficult to meet the requirements in terms of time.

You report that "nearly a quarter of... participants said the time and effort [demanded] was excessive". This means that more than three quarters of participants thought the time was reasonable. Again, "almost two fifths believed the programmes were too generic", therefore more than three fifths thought the interdisciplinary nature of the courses was a good thing.

In the Health Pathway for Nurses and Midwives to become qualified lecturers (which must be completed for professional requirements), there is a mixture of discipline-specific and interdisciplinary modules. This seems to work and is evaluated well.

We expect our children to be taught by qualified teachers; surely this should continue into higher education.

Pat Wood

Senior lecturer

School of Nursing and Midwifery

University of Hertfordshire

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