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Salient. Victoria University of Wellington Students' Newspaper. Volume 31, No. 24. October 1, 1968


page 4


October 1, 1968

Opinions expressed in Salient are not necessarily those of VUWSA.

There is no justification for the attitude prevalent among university students, that training college students are in an intellectually inferior institution and thus deserve nothing but contempt. The ignorance of those who assume this attitude shows not only a lack of tolerance but a lack of knowledge of teachers' colleges. With the shift of the training college to Karori the rift between the two groups of students may widen.

Firstly, it is impossible to classify all teachers' college students as stupid, or as anything else. They vary greatly and are brought together with the one common purpose: that they will teach.

That the training college's approach to education is different from the university's does not imply inferiority. Courses include what are usually considered unacademic subjects such as dance, pottery, phys ed and drama.

The absence of a regimented examination system gives opportunities-for experiment, so that cultural as well as academic studies are included. The academic pursuit is not of supreme importance for an academic does not make a teacher.

Extracurricular activities do not extend as widely as those of the university but they do try to involve a higher percentage of students than is involved at university. Student involvement and enthusiasm are more important than examination passes.

Many student teachers do traverse the mighty walls of the university, almost to be overcome by the intellectual snobbery exuding from the lecture theatres. This does allow for some liaison between students from the teachers' college and the university but it does not suffice to raise our status.

If such liaison is desirable, how is it to be attained? At present training college encourages studies at university but the main body of students remains detached. A combination of all facets of teacher training in a single institution is at present quite Utopian. Another concept is that of a purely administrative institute. While keeping universities and teachers' colleges as separate entities this would plan courses of academic interest to all students.

The question of whether universities will lower their standards to the level of an average training college student has been raised at Palmerston North. The outcome of the lengthy debate is that failure has been increased at the training college there through an examination system. Collaboration for such schemes demands co-operation from the university as a whole and from the student as an individual.

When university facilities such as cultural clubs are not overburdened by the university students there is no reason why teachers' college students cannot participate, thus gaining from the intellectual stimulus that is more likely to develop among such a large number of students than among our 600. This should be done if only in the hope it will make our students better teachers. Collectively we are not an anonymous rabble. Individually the training college student is a student in his own right—we are not a marauding tribe intent on destruction, as the university is not a convent to remain aloof from the world.

Remember—your children will one day be in our hands.

Claudia Coorey.