Choose open debate, not anonymity

11th June 2010 at 01:00

The letter on Curriculum for Excellence from "name and address supplied" (May 28) saddens me, not because it takes me to task for my views on the curriculum reform, but because of its self-imposed anonymity.

I have been writing, on and off, in The TESS for some 30 years, sometimes on controversial topics such as mixed-ability teaching, the role of HMIE, managerialism and punitive accountability systems. Many people (most?) have disagreed with some of my views on these matters and have expressed their views with vigour and, occasionally, with vitriol. That goes with the territory, as they say.

But what is this correspondent afraid of? She accuses me of being "authoritarian and overbearing", charges which I, of course, deny. But is the implication that if I knew the name of the correspondent that I would seek herhim down and exact retribution? I have had that happen to me for daring to criticise policy and practice. It was unpleasant and not a little threatening.

Anyway, now that I have "left the coalface" the likelihood of my ever having any influence, malign or benign, on anyone's career, is slim to non-existent. So, let's have an open debate, with constructive disagreement and see if, together, we can solve the problems that still face us in implementing Curriculum for Excellence.

Brian Boyd, emeritus professor of education, University of Strathclyde.

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