Teaching and subject expertise: let’s not fall for genericism again

Clio et cetera

I have a great deal of respect for those currently pushing ‘grass-root’ teacher movements, such as ResearchEd and the College of Teaching. I’m very excited to have signed up to a ResearchEd event in Cambridge, and the profession is advancing quickly at the moment in part as a consequence of these movements. My hunch, however, is that such organisations are working from a false premise, which is that teaching can in some sense be understood to be a generic form of activity. I want to use this post to explain why I think this premise is false.

In a nutshell, it comes down to the fact that I see teaching (like ‘writing’ or ‘researching’) as being domain-specific. I do not think there is much a historian can teach a physicist about how to do research (or vice versa), and, if a budding crime writer wants to be taught how to…

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