Don't knock their effort

17th July 1998 at 01:00
It was with dismay and disbelief that I read Paul Noble's review of The Learning Game: Creating a Confident School (TES Friday, July 10). This related not to Mr Noble's opinion of the materials or their design, to which he is entitled, but to the fact that he used sarcasm and individual pupils from another school to make his point. How pupils from a school not his own chose to respond to the materials is surely outwith his remit.

As the teacher responsible for the lesson that led to the photograph he ridicules, I feel obliged to defend the pupils he slights. Given the fact that Mr Noble has no personal knowledge of the boys whose work he flippantly quotes, nor of the risk they took in writing such statements, what right or qualification does he have to comment on the profundity of the statements the boys chose to write on their T-shirts?

Scoring a point at the expense of another undermines self-esteem and is particularly distasteful when it involves a teacher at the expense of a pupil. At the risk of further increasing Mr Noble's negativity regarding the use of quotations, I would remind him that "a child's creativity is nurtured by warmth and the positive approval of significant adults in his life".

Jackie Purdie 55 Grantully Drive, Kelvindale, Glasgow

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