Classroom 'cynics' more aware of what's going on

17th October 2008 at 01:00

I read with interest the news item about Joan Mowat's work on inclusion (TESS September 26).

Dr Mowat, and many like her, fail to realise that working with pupils in small groups and interacting with them in a classroom are two completely different things.

Doubtless, the "cynics" to whom Dr Mowat refers would have been happy to work with these "challenging" pupils in the same context as herself. However, this is an option which is not open to most of us.

My suggestion is: listen to the cynics. They are the ones in the classroom teaching challenging pupils, not the ones safely ensconced in teacher training institutions writing theses and taking out PhDs. If they say that something isn't working, it's because it's not working; to label them as "cynics" and imply that they do not have the pupils' best interests at heart is misguided.

On a further note, I read with interest your front page item in the same issue about a "dictatorship culture" in East Renfrewshire Council. It is perhaps worth noting that it mooted a 33-period week for all its secondaries, which was rejected en masse by teachers. The council went ahead and implemented it anyway.

M McLintock, Cordury Place, Glasgow.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today