Feedback on "What makes a good teacher?"

01 Feb 2008

Last week I wrote an article for the BBC News website (see 'articles' section of this website) headlined: "What makes a good teacher?"

 The reader feedback was overwhelming: hundreds of emails. Clearly this touched a nerve. The BBC has run a selection of these responses on its website. All are considered and thoughtful and packed with the direct experience of  the chalk-face. See: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/7222500.stm

The BBC did not have space to put up all the responses but I would be delighted to have any further thoughts posted here -- so responses welcome.

 I thought the evidence session it was based on was admirable for a number of reasons. Firstly, it brought together real experts whose points and observations were based on evidence not on prejudices. Second it was staged by Cambridge Assessment, the examinations agency, who deserve credit for staging the event and so demonstrating their commitment to a broader debate about education. And third, it was staged at Westminster so MPs could benefit from the expertise of the speakers. Sadly, however, only one MP was present -- but at least since he was Barry Sheerman, chairman of the Commons Select Committee that covers education and children, some of this evidence may end up informing the committee's future investigations. Perhaps Mr Sheerman will invite the experts back to address the committee in a formal session? 

User Comments

Joanne - 24 Feb 2008

What makes a good teacher?

I have just come across your article on what makes a good teacher and I was so excited by it that even though it's nearly midnight, I am here at the computer emailing you.

This is one of the times when I have read something connected with teachers and education and not felt myself burning up with rage.

It was such a well considered article and possessed simple common sense, addressing the fact that the question of what makes a good teacher is hard to answer.

I would argue that what a teacher does is largely unquantifable and cannot necessarily be measured in standard terms. Yet, there is a prevailing obsession with trying to programme, categorise and easily reference it. This will never do.

All the things your article drew on are the very things I think about but I have no weight to speak about them in a public forum such as by writing an article to be published on the BBC website. So, thank goodness for you! It may only be one piece of writing but what it contains within it gives me a little bit of hope perhaps the wind is slowly changing.

Joanne - 24 Feb 2008

What makes a good teacher?

I have just come across your article on what makes a good teacher and I was so excited by it that even though it's nearly midnight, I am here at the computer emailing you.

This is one of the few times when I have read something connected with teachers and education and not felt myself burning up with rage.

It was such a well considered article and possessed simple common sense, addressing the fact that the question of what makes a good teacher is hard to answer.

I would argue that what a teacher does is largely unquantifiable and cannot necessarily be measured in standard terms. Yet, there is a prevailing obsession with trying to programme, categorise and easily reference it. This will never do.

All of the things your article drew on are the very things I think about but I have no weight to speak about them in a public forum such as by writing an article to be published on the BBC website. So, thank goodness for you! It may only be one piece of writing but what it contains within it gives me a little bit of hope - perhaps the wind is slowly changing.

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