On behaviour and the devil

17th February 2012 at 00:00

I was amazed to read a behaviour expert's opinion based on "the grounds that pupil voice is an attempt by the Devil to dismantle education" (Behaviour, 10 February). This sounds too much like a Harry Potter view of education - perhaps Tom Bennett would have been better using the term "he who must not be named", than Old Nick. I did not realise that we are in a fight against the Devil in school as well as everything else in the world of education. It certainly has made me think a lot about recent decisions like the pensions debacle - perhaps the Devil is behind that, too?

Tom goes on to say that "things work just fine when grown-ups are in charge". This sounds like advocating disenfranchising the pupils we are meant to be educating, because we know better. How do we expect them to take an interest in politics and changing the world they live in if, during their formative years in school, they have no say in the way they are educated? Surely our duty is to teach them to take that role on responsibly, rather than leave it to those who know better. Just because pupils do not get the calculation in maths correct the first time around, or the second or third, do we stop teaching them? We are supposed to prepare them for adult life, and deciding not to educate them in being responsible citizens is failing them completely.

The job needs to be done, as the pupils we currently teach are the ones who will be in charge well into my old age, when I hope the world I live in will be a better place.

Iain Mackenzie, Dollar.

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