The International Writers
of Education For Post-Compulsory Teaching
The Importance of Teacher Training.
The above statement is used as a diagnostic tool in the assessment
of trainee teachers literacy skill and/or acumen in order
for them to qualify irrespective of their previous training
When approaching the statement in order to attempt to provide
a piece of writing that can be used diagnostically
to assess the literacy skill and/or acumen of trainee teachers
one is immediately faced with a difficulty that undermines the
whole enterprise: namely, that the statement is founded on two
main pretexts, which can be shown to be intrinsically flawed.
The first pretext (which is evident in its solitary nature it is
a statement which asks of no discursive affectations to be applied) presupposes
an interaction between the reader and the text. This interaction
is an inherent characteristic of communication through language, explored
in reader/response theory (of which B. Nicol is a chief exponent), in
which the reader decodes the meaning behind the text by drawing
on their own experiences of the statements foundational subject
area. This infers that the reader must take a positive or negative position
commonly known in literary criticism as a relationship
with regards to the statement. However, such a relationship
is intrinsically impossible, as the statement itself is founded upon the
presupposition of such a relationship, which therefore precludes
its intentions as a reflexive affectation. That is, if the genesis of
the statement is founded on a presupposing of a relationship
between the intent of the statement and that upon which it is founded,
it cannot ask the reader to then reflexively use that foundational intent
as a means to decode the statement. In short, a word cannot
define itself using itself as explanation.
Coupled with this is the fact that the statement exists with no corollary
directive such as Discuss, for example. This not only
suggests that the statement should remain non-discursive, but furthers
the supposition that it is, in fact, unsuited to such inconsequentially-arbitrary
discussion; and, indeed, that there is no cause for such discussion to
The second main pretext on which the statement is founded regards its
arbitrary usage of initial capitalisation capitalising importance
to make Importance, for example. Without initial capitalisation,
importance is an adjective: a word used to describe the state
of being of something; but capitalised to make Importance,
the word takes on a new meaning: it implies the word importance
should rightly be regarded as a common noun: a word
used to identify any class of persons, places or things ; though,
more accurately, it is used a proper noun: a particular
one of these [nouns] whereby the descriptive terminology
is (in this case) arbitrarily elevated to a presupposed significance.
However, such implications are themselves arbitrary, as to state that
Teacher Training is itself only contextualised by the prefixed
proper noun Importance is to merely highlight that Teacher
Training must, after all, be of little true importance so as to
require the arbitrary contextualisation of a proper noun. That is, if
Teacher Training was truly important, there would be no need
to labour such a sentiment without resorting to the grammatical gimmickry
of assigning it a definite article a proper noun
as is shown above. In this sense, the above statement is oxymoronic, as
by attempting to grant Teacher Training with importance by
implying through initial capitalisation that the importance
of Teacher Training itself has been elevated to the status
of a presupposed significance calls upon a presupposed significance which
the statement cannot hope to uphold. In short, if Teacher Training
were truly important, Importance wouldnt need to be
capitalised; and by doing so merely indicates that Teacher Training
is, in fact, unimportant.
Indeed, so arbitrary is the usage of initial capitalisation used (supposedly
for benefit to the statements intent) in Importance,
one must question its application to the words Teacher and
Firstly, to consider Teacher. To capitalise the word teacher
implies that the word has been elevated above (or even beyond) the role
with which it is concerned namely, one who teaches
to something far loftier. This, perhaps, is not arbitrary
but merely indicative of the grammatical phraseology by which the assessment
strategies of the teaching profession has come to be characterised.
For example, to initial capitalise the word teacher to make
Teacher transforms the connotative meaning embedded
in the word with which the reader must establish a relationship
in order to decode it into a noun which is grammatically
removed somewhat from the mere encumbrances of the words extraction.
That is, that teacher is presented as Teacher
is to show that a Teacher is no longer regarded as one
who teaches; but merely though supposedly beneficially
as one who is regarded by others as one who teaches.
This raises two problems:
a) Teacher implies that the one who is regarded by others
as one who teaches can only be regarded so by others, and not merely
by ones self denoting a relationship which, as
shown above, is intrinsically flawed by virtue of the initial capitalisation
that led us to take this closer look in the first place. Subsequently,
the proper noun Teacher meaning one who is regarded
by others as one who teaches is a redundant word: to regard
something is to imply a relationship of a nature which we
have seen cannot exist in this grammatical form.
b) Teacher meaning one who is regarded by others
as one who teaches makes no direct reference to the original
meaning of the (now corrupted) word teacher: at no point does
it state that actual teaching must take place for one to be regarded
by others as one who teaches; but that they are merely regarded
by others as being one who teaches irrespective of whether
any actual teaching actually takes place.
By extension, considering this statements source (an educational
institution using it as a means to assess a trainee teachers eligibility
to qualify as a Teacher), one can assert that said educational
institution recognises that to be a Teacher (one who
is regarded by others as being one who teaches) has little or nothing
to do with being a teacher (one who [actually] teaches).
To return to the third and final usage of (arbitrary) capitalisation:
Training. As with the corruption of the word teacher
into Teacher, the corruption of the word training
into Training follows a similarly-flawed grammatical logic.
The initial capitalisation of the letter t denotes that the
word has taken on a new meaning namely, that of an identifiable
object or thing (as a proper noun) which is singularly distinct. That
is, if one is to accept the capitalisation of training into
Training, one must accept the direct implication made by such
an act as connotative of the words meaning as a distinct entity;
and not a generalised, universal term (as was inherent in the source word
training). The implications of such an acceptance of the words
grammatical shift is that the new word Training
cannot be considered by the reader in the same light as the original,
uncorrupted word training.
In effect, to capitalise the word training into Training
is to suggest that the word Training and, presumably,
all its connotative meanings has become something quite removed
from what the word training means in common English usage.
Subsequently, although one cannot state what the new word
Training does mean (no secondary definitions are provided
as a corollary alongside the statement), one can state what the word Training
does not mean: namely, what, in common usage, training means
the act or process of teaching . As such, the new
word Training has no relevant (or identifiable) meaning; and
therefore its decoded meaning should be presumed with some
caution by the reader. As a further consequence (when presuming a words
meaning with caution), the word loses any definitive meaning; rendering
it meaningless in practical application; or, put simply, Training,
and all it has come to stand for, is meaningless.
And this, of course, is not to indulge the oxymoronic implications of
training (the act
of teaching) teachers (one who
[already] teaches) to teach.
Furthermore, such cautionary presumptions require a relationship
to exist between the reader and the word Teacher; such a relationship,
however, has been shown throughout to be intrinsically flawed (and therefore
useless as a reference in decoding the meaning behind the
text). Consequently, Training is shown to have no meaningful
applications in common English usage; and should therefore be disregarded
by the reader altogether which, in doing so, leads the reader to
only one conclusion: that the above statement has no meaning identifiable
by the reader. The statement, then, should be disregarded (in its entirety)
as meaningless; a sentiment which can be similarly stated (in accordance
with the arbitrarily-jargonistic phraseology now common to the profession)
as: Teacher Training has no Importance whatsoever.
Worryingly, then, one wonders exactly what level of literacy the educational
institution expects one to achieve in order to qualify.
© Chris Philipps April 10th 2007
all rights reserved - all comments are the writers' own responsibiltiy
- no liability accepted by hackwriters.com or affiliates.