Banishing the Past in Teacher Training

An Timire

Since I had been aware of the progressive ideology emanating from universities before starting my course, I picked up on the anti-traditional bias from start. During the induction week for new trainee teachers, for example, our course coordinator told us to put aside any preconceived notions we might have about what constitutes a good teacher. She advised us not to fall back on our positive impressions of teachers from our own school days. It seemed to me that this was a pre-emptive strike against any inclinations we may have to favour traditional teaching. She knew that Irish education has until recently remained fairly conservative and that we thus may be favourably disposed towards it, having benefited from it ourselves. She was thus subtly priming us to reject this legacy: yes, you may have benefited from traditional teaching, but this style of teaching is no longer an option, she seemed to be suggesting.

The coordinator proceeded to get herself into…

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