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How to tell Left from Right

The unseemly row between education secretary for England Michael Gove and Her Majesty's Chief Inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw has been reduced in the press to a conflict between the Right and the Left. Apparently the Left want children educated in groups and the Right think that teacher talk plus transmission of knowledge is the correct philosophy. These crude and simplistic definitions should not surprise us - the model of forcing teachers to teach to tests and then complaining that they are not performing this circus trick has been the basis of our system for the past 25 years. Mention sound educational practices such as "differentiation" and "learner-centred teaching" and one is immediately labelled as a disruptive lefty.

Professor Bill Boyle, Tarporley, Cheshire.

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