We wish to cut through unnecessary bureaucracy and the rhetoric of educational debate, and inspire school teachers and leaders to think about the fundamentals of education and put them into practice.
The principles which inform our teacher training courses are the same. We believe that:
- Education is an enterprise in which the young are initiated into bodies of worthwhile knowledge.
- Children must develop the skills they will need to function effectively in the world of work, but an approach to education, which sees the development of such skills as its prime purpose, is limiting.
- The teacher is an authority in his/her subject and their effectiveness as a teacher depends upon the knowledge they have of their subject, their passion for it and their craft in imparting that knowledge to others.
- All teachers, irrespective of their age and experience, should have the opportunity to hone the classroom skills upon which the profession of teaching depends – the ability to explain ideas in a way that engages their pupils, to ask questions and respond to answers in a way that prompts children’s thought and interest, to maintain good discipline and to have the highest possible expectations of their children.
- There is no one way to teach, so we want to open our teachers’ eyes to a variety of methods rather than to impose in a doctrinaire fashion any particular approach.
- We should practise what we preach and ensure that our residential courses provide high level input from visiting experts and plenty of opportunity for both group discussion and individual consultations.
Professor Geraint Jones, Dean of Education