Case for accelerated study was understated

13th December 1996 at 00:00
Susan Young's articles emphasised the boost to pupil's performance at GCSE of those pupils which have followed the two-year Cognitive Acceleration through Science Education (CASE) scheme and showed how well the scheme was working in different schools (TES, November 22). However, I felt the articles underplayed certain aspects of CASE.

Although developed and delivered through the science curriculum, CASE is a thinking-skills course, any science content to a CASE lesson provides the context for thinking. Metacognition (thinking about thinking) is a key aspect to these lessons and is one reason why pupils are transferring their thinking skills across the curriculum.

The CASE materials can be purchased separately from any training from King's College. However, those schools who have had training by King's, or through a growing network of CASE trainers, have greatly benefited from this input. CASE makes different demands on pupils and teachers, and its philosophy needs to be clearly understood before it is embarked upon. CASE can also be the focus for individual, departmental and school development. CASE raises the whole issue of thinking and learning and provides a focus for a wide range of other issues such as group work and questioning.

JOHN COLLINS Trainee CASE trainer, North Dorset Thinking Skills Initiative, Shaftesbury School, Salisbury Road, Shaftesbury, Dorset

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