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6oth Anniversary Book (Mike Cook et al) PDF Printable Version E-mail


Teacher Education at Huddersfield 1947-2007

The Book

Reviewed by Barry Williamson
January 2009

At long and welcome last, the University of Huddersfield has published the eagerly awaited book celebrating 60 years of Technical Teacher Training in Huddersfield. Mike Cook (with much help from Peter Frankland) worked with University lecturers Roy Fisher and Martyn Walker to produce this hardback volume of 244 informative pages and 70 well-chosen photographs: a fitting tribute to a great institution.

Mike Mike_Cook.jpg(seen below), Peter and I spent the majority of our teaching life on the Holly Bank Road campus of the Huddersfield College of Education (Technical). One of only four such colleges in the whole of England and Wales, we saw it transformed into a Faculty within the Huddersfield Polytechnic in 1974, to subsequently become part of the School of Education and Professional Development within the University of Huddersfield in 1992. In 2001 the Holly Bank site was sold for housing development and the School moved to new premises, 'Lockside', built in the footprint of a weaving shed on the canal side of the University in the town centre.

The book traces those 60 action-packed years in exhaustive detail, mixing anecdote with academic reference. Indeed, it puts the entire period into the broader context of technical training in the Huddersfield area, from the beginning of Mechanics' Institutes in the first half of the 19th century, to the structure and achievement of the University School and its award of Centre for Excellence in Teacher Training status (HUDCETT) in the early 21st century.

The College's charismatic founder and its Director for the first 27 yearsOlder_Mac.jpg, Alexander MacLennan (seen right), is given his due influential role in the development of the College and its burgeoning number of staff and students. In the formal language of the book, he eschewed assessment by formal examination, promoted radical pedagogic techniques, and valued partnership between tutor and student. His leadership challenged the existing practices of teacher training and developed models of adult learning, a relevant professional curriculum, and inclusive relationships with the post-16 sector, all of which continue to inform the University's provision to this day.

His own intriguing history is explored in the book, although there are still gaps in the story which continue to stimulate speculation. The many illustrations of the Holly Bank site, the students and senior members of staff evoke nostalgic memories in all but the most insensitive reader.

MHollyBank_2001_c.jpgany a tear will be shed over the image in the end pages: the demolition of the Holly Bank College in 2001 in a still from a poignant video made by Mike Guggenheim. Barry is seen on the left, on Holly Bank Road on a cold day, by the main entrance to what was once the College, next to the sign NO PUBLIC ACCESS.

It is said that many a tutor, past and present, picking up the bookBW_at_HollyBank_2.jpg for the first time, turns to the index to see if they are mentioned. It is a tribute to the authors that few will be disappointed: if not in the index, they can turn to pages 189 to 206, where all the tutorial staff are listed. Non-teaching staff and tutors at extramural centres are less well represented, although a list of such centres is given on pages 208 to 211.

Sixteen pages of bibliography support the veracity of the information given in the book and provide fertile ground for further study and research.

Share your own comments about the book through this website by contacting Peter Frankland.

Ordering the Book

To have the book posted to you, send your order to: Uniprint, Computing and Library Services, Level 4 , University of Huddersfield, Queensgate, Huddersfield, HD1 3DH  Email:  Telephone: 01484 472246bookflyer_HB.JPG

Specify the book title, the number of copies to be posted at 18.00 each (inc. p&p), your name, address and (optionally) your email address. Please make your cheque payable to the University of Huddersfield.

Alternatively, you can obtain an order form by clicking on the picture link given on the right. Print and complete the form (a pdf file), following the instructions on the flyer.

If you prefer, you can also collect copies from the Uniprint Desk on Level Four of the University Library for 15.00 per copy.