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One vital debate

I read with interest the contrasting views of Peter Wilby and Sean Lang in your comment pages (TES, January 19). I almost completely adhere to the first, but am at odds with the second.

Of course children need a knowledge of history and an ability to learn from the past. But, as with many other "traditional" subjects, too great an emphasis on the irrelevant and boring destroys the "love of learning". The need to accede to the demands of academics will simply not engage the majority.

Understandably, teachers are fed up with change after so many doomed initiatives. Even so, if we hope to compete with emerging nations and we believe children's lives should be fulfilled, there is surely one vital debate: how, what and why we teach our children. These are the main criteria by which our generation will be judged. Let us work towards a wholesale review, with implementation to follow.

Andy Dukes, The Wey Valley school and sports college, Weymouth, Dorset

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