Practical teachers

May 9, 1997

JANET FRASER deserves strong support for her demand that "practitioner research" is properly recognised in the research assessment exercise in 2000 (THES letters, April 25).

Her demand is particularly relevant for much of the traditional work carried out in faculties/colleges of education. Curriculum development has been an important part of this work and has resulted in the research, production and evaluation of classroom materials used by large numbers of teachers and pupils in Scotland, elsewhere in Britain and beyond.

Within this department these materials have included training packages relating to health education in schools, a pioneering use of the Internet to support the teaching of religious and moral education, IT-based resources in geography and history and support materials to assist the development of history teaching in Eastern Europe.

Colleagues in other departments and colleges of education could provide similar examples of widely used curriculum materials. Little, if any, of this work has received due recognition in research assessment exercises with their increasingly passe emphasis on books, refereed articles etc.

Before RAE 2000 an urgent review is required into the ratings of public output within the education category. This review should equate the production of curriculum materials with books and refereed materials so giving public output which is of direct and practical benefit to teachers and pupils its due reward.

Peter Hillis, Iain Gray, Chris Foxon, Alistair Robinson, Joan Forrest Department of social studies education

University of Strathclyde

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