And which William was the naughty toddler?;The week in view

7th May 1999 at 01:00
Another grim week tempered by fine weather, Tories in turmoil and a celebration of two years of New Labour. We find a tale of two Williams, pester power, toddler tantrums and the end of geography as we know it.

The Royal William is on the shortlist to become a prefect at Eton. Should he succeed he can wear a white bow tie, fancy waistcoats and braid on his coat tails. William Brown would have given him a scornful look.

The publishers of the evergreen loveable rogue created by Richmal Crompton are releasing 20 books with facsimile covers to celebrate the 80th anniversary of first of her Just William stories. But the scruffy schoolboy has blundered into a politically correct battleground with animal rights and anti-bullying campaigners protesting about his anarchic attitudes. It is conceded, however, that they may be useful in the Government's drive to get boys to read more.

Violet Elizabeth Bott, William's chief tormentor - she of the lisp and the threat to "scream and scream til I'm sick"-would have turned into a monstrous teenager.

Avshalon Caspi, a professor at the London Institute of Psychiatry, found that unruly toddlers turn into aggressive and alienated adults. No doubt the sort of kids that pester their parents into buying more expensive goods in supermarkets with brands featuring their favourite cartoon characters and sporting heroes. Winnie the Pooh, Barbie and footballers lure mums into spending more.

The beautiful game has a lot to answer for: a study of 100 14 to 16-year-olds by Greenwich University found that boys lag behind girls because they are obsessed with football. "Girls talk about make-up and things like that but only to a certain extent. In the classroom we talk about it, the rest of the time we are playing it."

Researcher Becky Francis also found that boys thought learning was unmasculine. Her findings cast doubt on Labour's approach to raising standards, based on the idea that schools must make learning interesting for boys.

"What needs to change is not teaching styles, but the culture of masculinity that belittles learning."

Another headache for David Blunkett who is already having a hard time with his curriculum review.

The Education Secretary had to defend traditional geography against threats to cut out naming capital cities and calculating distances on maps in favour of environmental awareness and sustainable development.

A good education can be more than the key to a good career-it can turn you into an accomplished liar, University of Virginia researchers have found. The well-educated tend to lie more often and be better at it than those with only basic schooling; men are the most prolific liars, but women are catching up.

Men, however, are catching up with their partners with post-natal depression. Tiredness, irritability and loss of sex drive are among the symptoms. It's tough being a new man.

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