30 years ago

9th April 2004 at 01:00
In a letter to The TES Scotland published on April 12, 1974, Timothy Flynn suggests attainment, morale and discipline could be improved in secondaries by adopting a primary model - anticipating Jack McConnell's recent call for using primary teachers in the lower secondary: The greater part of the disciplinary problems encountered in secondary schools arise from the "cultural shock" effect on children from moving out of a child-centred close-adult relationship into a subject-centred adult-remote set-up, the degree of disorder being directly proportional to the distance between these two poles.

The solution in part seems to be that the first and second secondary years should have a general subjects one-room one teacher . . . I now work in a List D school where such a scheme obtains and it is hard to credit that these pleasant, hard-working pupils are the same as the insolent, brutal and idle ones that their normal schools found them to be.

The amazingly low morale of the teaching profession . . . is a byword and yet it is a largely modern problem. As such, it can be argued, it derives from the modern conditions of teaching - one of which is the bovine ignorance of educational administration.

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