Bravery deserves some credit

30th September 2005 at 01:00
Has primary teachers' bravery in making huge changes to the way they work because they want to help their children been properly acknowledged? They have been criticised for following orders too easily (not least on this page) and for not changing their practice sufficiently.

In a paper on teachers' views of the national literacy and numeracy strategies, given at the British Educational Research Association conference this month in Wales, Rosemary Webb, of York university highlights their dedication (TES, September 23).

Interest in children's learning, enjoyment of working with them and wanting to make a difference to their lives was what kept most teachers in the job.

It is not surprising, she concludes, that despite their resentment at the way the strategies were imposed, the most important thing about the changes for the teachers they talked to was the benefits to children.

"As a consequence they made changes to their practice, although these caused them considerable extra work and stress, challenged their past beliefs, and in many cases resulted in a change in previously-held values."

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