THE BLOG
20/06/2012 06:37 BST | Updated 19/08/2012 06:12 BST

Teachers Don't Need No Education?

The teaching profession has become saturated with theory. We are in an age where there is more theory than ever before, yet our basic demands of the education system (literacy and numeracy) have not been met. At times I wish I was the terminator (slightly because of the fashion, definitely not in need of a shotgun) with the ability to conjure up vital stats of my pupils in a vision cloud (working-at grades, targets, reading ages, special educational needs) etc. Why? Theory says I can be the best teacher once I know every iota of data about my pupil. Sometimes I feel data has become so pertinent that I lack confidence in my ability to make a decision without scanning the essential digits.

Teaching, however, ultimately relies on the quality of your interaction with the pupil at the given moment. This quality is one that fulfils their needs, and is slightly innate, but grows from establishing relationships and general experience. Making teaching an MA profession will not guarantee improved teaching. Theories are supposed to provide generalised references of conduct. Their value lies in the evaluation of how they were put into practice, an opportunity that our burdened timetables do not allow the scope for. I welcome the increase in academic opportunities for teachers, but these become meaningless without schools supporting their implementation. Teachers do not require more education, or time spent dusting off theories. Teachers need to teach, they need a system that supports their foundations, one which allows them to take risks and learn from them.

What a system we have! Once stagnated with governmental bureaucracy, these bureaucratic hoops may have been moved to private ones, but teachers are still required to jump through them. Watched like hawks is another metaphor that springs to mind (yes, I love metaphors).

Will career changers come to the professions aid? If teaching increasingly becomes a revolving door profession then all the theory in the world will not be able to make up for the 'teaching nouse' that continued experience provides. A more malleable recruitment strategy will enable a greater variety of experienced professionals to enter classrooms and build upon a broader skills-set. However the profession could be at risk from being flaunted as a flexi-glass career, which could undermine it more than ever.

If teachers were given the scope to spend more time on what they are doing in class, and even more time reflecting then perhaps we could put a little bit more of their training in practice to see if it works. Then again, it's only a theory...