The knowledge required to be a good teacher of English (or any other subject) includes both techne – the skill or craft required to achieve a desired outcome – and the wider understanding denoted by episteme. Plato associated episteme with a freedom of intelligence, while Damon Young writes that techne in the Greek polis “was a kind of knowledge associated with people who are bound to necessity”.
English teachers resent being bound to necessity. Bethan Marshall writes in her conclusion to Testing English: “Despite over 150 years of battle, English teachers are still trying to assess English…
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