Subject centres work

February 12, 1999

Your article on the higher education funding councils' proposed subject centres/networks dismissed the work of educational "do-gooders" as a largely failed method for promoting innovative teaching (THES, "Can teaching centres work?", January 29).

This is an unfortunate caricature of a group of skilled and knowledgeable professionals. We have been running the Fund for the Development of Teaching and Learning geography discipline network for the past 30 months and have found this an effective way of facilitating the take-up of good practice by our disciplinary colleagues. We have a consortium of nine higher education institutions with at least one geographer and educational developer in each. The quality of our ten good-practice guides and 50 department-based workshops has been markedly improved through the involvement of the educational developers.

Mick Healey Director, geography discipline network, geography and environmental management research unit, Cheltenham and Gloucester College of Higher Education

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