Professional duties

June 5, 1998

TEN million pounds for research into teaching and learning (THES, May 15) is of course welcome. However, over the past 50 years there has been a great deal of excellent research, which shows quite clearly how to improve teaching and learning. The problem is that very little notice is taken of it, certainly in higher education.

No one with a nodding acquaintance with research could have devised the present methods of assessing teaching quality, for example. And studies of academic staff by Leonard Holdstock and myself show that, in general, they attach a low priority to hearing about teaching and learning.

Thus it is to be hoped that some of the Pounds 10 million will be spent on practical methods of implementing research knowledge, and not all of it on confirming what we already know.

John Radford Emeritus professor of psychology University of East London

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