What a pleasure it was to read last week's TES in its new format and to feel so encouraged by the many excellent articles, written by eminent and respected professors of education, other experts in their academic fields and your colleagues.
Ted Wragg's positive encouragement and intelligent observations must surely spur on our efforts in contributing to an effective and relevant education for all our children.
As a supply teacher and link tutor of a college of further education, I go to work each morning feeling privileged and proud that I belong to a profession of such dedicated and caring people.
As I walk into welcoming and dynamic school environments, one can not fail to see the high standards of children's work and reflect on the many hours teachers and students give willingly, to share such achievements with others; not to mention the involvement of the governors and parents who assist them in their work.
In response to Stewart Deuchar's comment that Professor Paul Black is talking "pernicious rubbish", as an advocate of discovery learning and problem solving opportunities, I can only share my experiences of pleasure and satisfaction, when a child runs to greet you, in shrill excitement, as to what they have just found out through experimentation, observation and investigation. Surely this is what meaningful education is all about?
During the whole process, children are encouraged, through interaction with one another, to speak coherently, as well as to read instructions and report back in writing, what they have found out. They also have the confidence to give verbal feedback to the rest of the class, in a presentation, where speaking and listening skills are further enhanced.
Furthermore, I would like to point out that basic skills are not ignored by these supposed "Plowden-influenced teachers". Provision is made for the teaching and learning of reading, writing and numeracy skills.
As professionals, we provide a balanced and broad curriculum, are clear as to our aims and objectives and plan lessons which give equal value to both content and skill. Perhaps those of us with differing opinions could meet up in five years time to compare standards of achievement and teaching styles. Who was it who said "The proof of the pudding is in the eating"?
As a mother, I would like to thank all the teachers and student teachers who have provided such excellent provision for my two children.
They have most certainly contributed towards making them contented well balanced and successful people.
Also a special thanks to the head teachers, inspectors, lecturers and professors (a special mention for Michael Barber and Ted Wragg) for allowing the profession the autonomy to teach in a style conducive to their integrity and personality, which projects their many talents and skills.
Their support, encouragement, expertise and academic ability provide us with the training and knowledge necessary to the delivery and provision of quality education, as well as the confidence to carry on.
I think we shall all look forward in renewed hope, to the sharing and celebrating of each others' achievements, in the new Primary and Pre-school section of The TES I, for one, most certainly will!
MARIA BOTSIONNI Supply teacherlink tutor Birmingham Road Bromsgrove Worcestershire