Don't patronise

24th January 1997 at 00:00
As a physics teacher for more than 30 years I would repudiate Professor Smithers' condescending remarks about science teachers not being likely to enjoy working with children. I have found that science teachers are as good with children as other teachers, if not better. Where has he done his research?

What his mind, brainwashed by the current education theories, fails to appreciate is that youngsters are attracted to study subjects by the inspiration of knowledgeable and enthusiastic teachers, as my cousin, a physics professor, acknowledged to me. Currently, in most state schools, pupils are taught general science by science teachers who are not equipped with the knowledge or interest to teach their non-specialisms. It should be of no surprise to Professor Smithers that the public schools and grammar schools with their mainly separate science subjects, encourage a greater proportion of their pupils to study A-level science. Professor Smithers would do well to come down from his ivory tower and consult real teachers rather than regular conference-goers before making his patronising assertions.

DAVID MARSHALL

Edge End High School Nelson, Lancashire

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