Baroness Morris calls for university-school collaborations

Universities and schools should collaborate more on classroom techniques to drive up standards in teaching, according to a senior Labour peer.

March 3, 2013

Baroness Morris of Yardley, the former education secretary, said that schools and universities do not communicate effectively at present.
Speaking at a public lecture at the University of Sunderland on 21 February, Lady Morris proposed that politicians, universities and schools worked together to collate and implement the large amounts of research of the best teaching methods.
“What we’re missing from the education service is evidence-based research of what works in the classroom,” she said. “This would help teachers become true professionals and exercise their professional judgment as they should do, but responsibly by looking at the evidence that underpins what they do.”
She added: “The knowledge about teaching and learning rests in universities but it is held there and not released. Schools and universities should work together alongside politicians to bank information and research to discuss what works in teaching and learning.”
However, she emphasised the need for teachers to be given the space and time to access and learn from universities’ knowledge otherwise the system would not work effectively.
“We need to ensure that teachers can have time and space to access it, to discuss and reflect on it. If we do that, we will build a body of knowledge that underpins pedagogy in our schools.”
Lady Morris, who used to be a PE and humanities teacher before entering politics, added her biggest fear for the future is that private sector companies will begin to make profit at the expense of education services.

john.elmes@tsleducation.com

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