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10 steps towards a better education: #6 Prepare the Teachers

In the sixth of our 10 steps on developing better education for our children, we look at the role and skills of teachers and how we need to rethink their core skills.

These 10 steps first appeared as a part of our briefing paper for British parliamentarians, which is why they talk about ‘parliament’. They could equally apply to many governments around the world . . .

#6 Preparing the Teachers
Quality education is everything to do with teachers, not much to do with structures, and very little to do with buildings. Teachers do what they believe in extraordinarily well, but what they are told to do merely to a mediocre standard.

Productive pupil/teacher relationships are based on explanation, on talking things through, and seeing issues in their entirety. Which is why teachers not only need to know a lot, but be wise enough to draw upon only that which is necessary for the learner to know at that stage.

To achieve that, teachers need both technical subject knowledge and considerable expertise in both pedagogy and child development, combined with the avuncular skill of brilliant story tellers.

Immediately the country should take several thousand of this year’s unemployed graduates and over the next three years pioneer a new Honour’s Degree in applied pedagogy to include aspects of neurobiology, educational psychology, evolutionary studies, didactics, philosophy, social psychology and especially community and family development, so as to create a cadre of experienced and pedagogically knowledgeable teachers with the authority to begin restructuring all aspects of pre-university education.

10 steps towards a better education

#1 Understand Learning
#2 Reassert Intelligence
#3 Affirm the Family
#4 Strengthen Community
#5 Unpack the Curriculum

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