When I’m talking to parents, friends and colleagues about the issue of having qualified teachers teaching pupils of all ages most haven’t been aware that the person teaching their child may not be qualified.
This can happen in a school environment, a tuition company environment or a home tutor. Once they get over the shock that unqualified people are able to “teach” the follow up question is often “What is the difference?”
In a follow up to their brilliant blog yesterday Kip McGrath Scunthorpe have explained in some detail the importance. Please follow the link below but I wanted to put a sizeable quote that puts it better than I can.
The main issue with this, is the widely held and incorrect assumption that having a sound knowledge of a subject enables you to teach it. Knowing your facts and being able to impart them effectively are two different things entirely. Anyone who has watched E4′s The Big Bang Theory and witnessed the genius Dr Sheldon Cooper’s wholly inadequate efforts to lecture students in his area of expertise will be able to relate to this immediately. Teachers go through 3 to 4 years of study in order to understand the principles of how people learn, how to put together effective lessons and how to assess the progress that has been made by their students. A good teacher can then tailor their planning and teaching methods to suit the needs of their student/s according to ability, learning styles and how well or otherwise they have understood the topic.
No-one, however great an expert they may be in their field, will have these skills at their fingertips if they haven’t been trained to teach. Therefore, to use unqualified and untrained people in the classroom or lecture theatre means that students are not being taught adequately and are receiving a sub-standard education. It is worth noting that with many primary schools now using TAs for teaching cover for 2.5 hours of PPA (planning, preparation and assessment) time each week a child is, on average, losing a month’s worth of qualified teaching time each year.
A further cause for concern is the fact that under current regulations anyone in the United Kingdom can set up in business as a tutor regardless of their educational training or qualifications. At Kip McGrath Education Centres we recognise the need for the skills and teaching knowledge that accompany a professional teaching qualification in order to teach children effectively. We believe that in order to improve education standards and maximise the potential for all children they must be taught by qualified professionals at every stage of their learning career. That is why at Kip McGrath we guarantee that all our students are always taught by qualified teachers.
I think the final line two lines are so important. The Government has recently been upping the profile of teaching by asking for prospective teachers to have better degrees and they have to ensure having stated this that they are not accused of hypocrisy by not insisting that those that teach National Curriculum academic subjects are not qualified teachers.
Please follow the link to the Kip McGrath Scunthorpe Blog