Lecturing school days

January 9, 1998

FOR aspiring young lecturers in higher education the push for training and accreditation could have an unwelcome consequence.

Universities normally appoint people who have finished or nearly finished their doctorates. They want them to start publishing books and articles that will qualify in the research assessment exercise. Formal teaching training will be seen as a distraction. Universities could start demanding that all applicants are trained for teaching. And would-be entrants will have to foot the bill in time and money.

This is not a problem as long as training is restricted to a couple of days induction or three or four workshops in September before teaching starts, as is broadly the current practice.

However, once Sir Ron Dearing's Institute of Teaching and Learning is up and running and certification is compulsory, it is probable that both the contents and time requirements will expand to perhaps become like the schoolteachers' postgraduate certificate in education. This will be good news for course organisers but bad news for lecturers-to-be.

David Cubitt Former head of the school of languages and area studies University of Portsmouth

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