Consuming passion

25th May 2001 at 01:00
I was dismayed to read, in the article "Has the culture of tests gone too far?" (TES, May 11), Nick Seaton (of the right-wing Campaign for Real Education) referring to pupils and parents as "consumers".

This sums up much of what is wrong with the education system. To refer to students as consumers is, by extension, to refer to education as a commodity to be bought and sold. I have a terrible feeling that this is the way we are headed.

There is a simple answer to the question the above article posed: YES! Many problems of discipline and poor tacherstudent relationships could be solved by reducing drastically the number of tests in our schools.

While the pupil sees an over-stressed "nag" at the front of the class who does nothing but practise exam questions and stress the need for results, the chances of disillusionment of both teacher and pupil becomes ever greater.

Teachers should be judged not by tests but by how they help pupils develop into good members of society. The over-emphasis of testing is keeping us from doing that job effectively.

K Daly

Belfast


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