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Written by leading general philosophers and philosophers of education, IMPACT pamphlets bring philosophical perspectives to bear on current education policy in the UK. They are addressed directly to policy-makers, politicians and practitioners, though will be of interest also to researchers and students working on education policy.

All previous IMPACT pamphlets are available to download free from the Wiley Online Library here.

IMPACT 23: Should students have to borrow?

In this bold and timely pamphlet, Dr Christopher Martin argues that forcing students to borrow is a serious mistake. He contends that higher education is a welfare good on a par with basic schooling and health care. To flourish in liberal democratic societies, citizens must be personally autonomous, and the educational demands of personal autonomy are too heavy to be met by compulsory schooling alone. To lead autonomous lives, adult citizens need ongoing educational support, support that the liberal democratic state has an obligation to provide. Higher education should therefore be a universal entitlement and free at the point of use.

    IMPACT 22: What training do teachers need?: Why theory is necessary to good teaching.
    Janet Orchard and Christopher Winch

    Recent years have seen a concerted and systematic move towards a school-led system of initial teacher training in England. The role of universities, and particularly their part in engaging new teachers with educational theory, has been radically challenged. Only around half of new entrants to the profession now follow university-based training routes. These seismic changes to teacher education have been driven through with a minimum of formal consultation or public debate.

    In this urgent and compelling pamphlet, Janet Orchard and Christopher Winch argue for a conception of teachers as professionals who require a deep understanding of the conceptual, empirical and normative dimensions of educational practice. They explain why university education departments are better placed than schools to help beginning teachers acquire that understanding. And they propose a significant expansion of initial teacher education, with full licensure contingent on completion of both a preliminary teaching qualification and a higher grade apprenticeship in the first two years of employment.

    Teachers need educational theory because they must understand what they are doing and why they are doing it, and must be able to think intelligently about how to do it better. At present, universities have the capacity and the expertise to meet this need. But they may not have it for much longer if the shift to school-based teacher education continues unabated.

    Podcast: launch event panel discussion

    Press comment: TES Digital - New teaching apprenticeships would counter 'anti-intellectualism' and stop trainees from dropping out, report claims

    • Schools Week - Two-year ‘apprenticeship’ for new teachers suggested by academics TES Digital - 'Can you teach well without a sound knowledge of educational theory? The answer is no'

    TES Digital - 'Can you teach well without a sound knowledge of educational theory? The answer is no'

    More About the IMPACT series

    Launched in 1999, the IMPACT series has tackled issues across the spectrum of education policy. Pamphlets on the organisation, management and distribution of schooling include Harry Brighouse’s on educational equality, Michael Luntley’s on performance-related pay, Mary Warnock’s on provision for pupils with special educational needs and Colin Richards’ on school inspection. New perspectives on curriculum subjects are set out in Kevin Williams’ pamphlet on modern foreign languages, John Gingell’s on the visual arts, Philip Barnes’ on religious education and Andrew Davis’ on the teaching of reading. And ways for schools to address challenging topics in the public eye are explored in Mary Midgley’s pamphlet on intelligent design theory, David Archard’s on sex education, Randall Curren’s on sustainable development and Michael Hand’s on patriotism.

    Each IMPACT pamphlet is launched with a seminar or panel debate at which the issues it raises are further explored. Launches have been attended by government ministers, shadow ministers and other MPs, by representatives of government departments, non-departmental public bodies, professional associations, trade unions and think tanks, by education journalists and researchers, and by teachers and students.


    Previous titles in the series

    IMPACT 21: How Ought War To Be Remembered in Schools?
    David Aldridge, November 2014
    Podcast: launch event panel discussion

    IMPACT 20: To Read or Not To Read? Decoding synthetic phonics
    Andrew Davis, November 2013
    Podcast: launch event panel discussion

    IMPACT 19: Patriotism in Schools
    Michael Hand, December 2011
    Podcast: launch event panel discussion

    IMPACT 18: Education for Sustainable Development: a philosophical assessment
    Randall Curren, March 2009

    IMPACT 17: Religious Education: taking religious difference seriously
    L. Philip Barnes, February 2009

    IMPACT 16: Educational Assessment and Accountability: a critique of current policy
    Andrew Davis, October 2008

    IMPACT 15: Intelligent Design Theory and Other Ideological Problems
    Mary Midgley, June 2007

    IMPACT 14: What Schools Are For and Why
    John White, January 2007

    IMPACT 13: The Visual Arts and Education
    John Gingell, December 2006

    IMPACT 12: What Use is Educational Research? A debate
    Robin Barrow and Lorraine Foreman-Peck, December 2005

    IMPACT 11: Special Educational Needs: a new look
    Mary Warnock, August 2005

    IMPACT 10: The Importance of PSHE: a philosophical and policy perspective on Personal, Social and Health Education
    Graham Haydon, March 2005

    IMPACT 9: School Inspection in England: a re-appraisal
    Colin Richards, September 2001

    IMPACT 8: Teaching Thinking Skills
    Stephen Johnson, September 2001

    IMPACT 7: Sex Education

    David Archard, September 2000

    IMPACT 6: Will the New National Curriculum Live Up to its Aims?
    Steve Bramall and John White, June 2000

    IMPACT 5: Why Teach Foreign Languages in Schools? A philosophical response to curriculum policy
    Kevin Williams, June 2000

    IMPACT 4: New Labour and the Future of Training

    Christopher Winch, March 2000

    IMPACT 3: Educational Equality and the New Selective Schooling
    Harry Brighouse, February 2000

    IMPACT 2: Performance, Pay and Professionals: measuring the quality of teaching: a challenge to the government's proposals on teachers' pay
    Michael Luntley, January 2000

    IMPACT 1: Educational Assessment: a critique of current policy
    Andrew Davis, November 1999


    IMPACT Editorial Board

    Professor Michael Hand, University of Birmingham (Editor)

    Dr Louise Bamfield, RSA (Policy Advisor)

    Professor David Archard, Queen’s University Belfast

    Professor Randall Curren, University of Rochester

    Dr Andrew Davis, University of Durham

    Professor Bob Davis, University of Glasgow

    Dr Lorraine Foreman-Peck, University of Oxford

    Professor Michael Luntley, University of Warwick

    Dr Janet Orchard, University of Bristol

    Professor Richard Smith, University of Durham

    Professor John White, Institute of Education, University of London

    Professor Chris Winch, King’s College, University of London


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