There is no doubt that many of our serving military have an extremely high level of technical skill. Such skills are deployed in situations where there are no prizes for coming second so their knowledge and skill has to be of a very high order. In my role of an external examiner I once met an ex-serviceman who was training to be a teacher. He had been a member of the SAS on the Falklands. There was absolutely no doubt that he was extremely competent and extremely tough although neither was particularly apparent from his appearance or demeanor. I had to ask him about his experiences on teaching placement. This is what he said. “I’ve never been more scared than when I was with a challenging group of year 9 pupils on a Friday afternoon with half an hour of the lesson left and I had run out of things for them to do. Shouting at them didn’t work and all my military expertise was to no avail.” So what did you learn from this I asked. “Actually it’s straightforward”, he said, “Always prepare more than you think you’re going to need, absolutely essential to have more than a little something up your sleeve.” He went on to become a very accomplished teacher. So the points made about discipline in the classroom being different to discipline in the services are well made but I don’t see that those with an aptitude for teaching can’t adapt to the classroom situation. A former school student of mine who served in the Royal Navy told me a Navy saying which indicates that many military folk might have the right attitude to this need to change. “Remember the seven Ps – Proper Prior Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance”.
My question is who will be responsible for the “on the job four days a week one day at university “ approach suggested by the government? Schools Direct?