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Past TimesEd

75 years ago

* November 17, 1928

One of the most valuable new developments of English teaching is the practice of encouraging the rapid reading of suitable texts for pure enjoyment. Many English masters now set aside at least one period a week when pupils may read at their own rate for pleasure.

Such a use of school time is so far from being a waste of time that it may perhaps even be regarded as the most useful part of the English course...The boy who has a sufficient love of good books to read them for pleasure at home will make much more rapid progress in English than the boy whose knowledge of literature is dependent on what he picks up at school.

It should be the master's object to stimulate a taste for reading, not to add to the already burdensome homework.

50 years ago

* November 13, 1953

Television "might have an entirely wholesome effect on marriages".

It might, but the evidence contained in a new survey conducted by a Coventry tutorial class in psychology does not warrant even so cautious a hint.....Discussions and arguments within the family circle over controversial subjects are a healthy outlet, injecting the family with new energy. It might be that television could arouse many people from an apathy that has crept into family life.

And it might be that television could intensify the bickering that is not an unknown feature of family life either.

25 years ago

* November 17, 1978

The Government's 5 per cent wages policy looked pretty sick before the refusal of the Trades Union Congress General Council to endorse the joint statements thrashed out by the "Neddy Six" and senior ministers. Now it looks even sicker and eyes turn towards the Chancellor to see what measures he will now take to bak up the Government's repeated promises on inflation.

The TUC decision comes close on the heels of the steep rise in the Minimum Lending Rate, and the consequent leap in mortgage interest charges which will hit more than half the readers of the TES - the house buyers - where it hurts.

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