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Classroom 'cynics' more aware of what's going on

I read with interest the news item about Joan Mowat's work on inclusion (TESS September 26).

Dr Mowat, and many like her, fail to realise that working with pupils in small groups and interacting with them in a classroom are two completely different things.

Doubtless, the "cynics" to whom Dr Mowat refers would have been happy to work with these "challenging" pupils in the same context as herself. However, this is an option which is not open to most of us.

My suggestion is: listen to the cynics. They are the ones in the classroom teaching challenging pupils, not the ones safely ensconced in teacher training institutions writing theses and taking out PhDs. If they say that something isn't working, it's because it's not working; to label them as "cynics" and imply that they do not have the pupils' best interests at heart is misguided.

On a further note, I read with interest your front page item in the same issue about a "dictatorship culture" in East Renfrewshire Council. It is perhaps worth noting that it mooted a 33-period week for all its secondaries, which was rejected en masse by teachers. The council went ahead and implemented it anyway.

M McLintock, Cordury Place, Glasgow.

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