To join the ILT or not?

February 18, 2000

Tim Unwin and Richard Hodgkins say they care passionately about "the quality of their teaching" and that geography has an excellent record (Soapbox, THES, February 4). So, what is the problem?

Why fear the spotlight if you feel spotless? More to the point, why do they not want to ensure other disciplines are of equal quality?

Even where teaching is good there is room for improvement. Even excellent teachers benefit from support if they are to try new methods, and here is a very important role for the Institute for Learning and Teaching - ensuring staff have accredited teaching skills and that they are supported in improvement.

Most staff are members of a professional body that demands a far greater contribution than that asked for by the ILT. Professional recognition for teaching has to be one way of enhancing the status of those who do want recognition for their work.

As for the carping criticisms of the ILT's work, surely the thing to do is join and make sure it is run the way members want.

Anne Hilton Director, learning and teaching department, Loughborough University

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