Asking the questions can be more important than having the answers. Children are full of questions, and it is a key job of primary schools to nurture and encourage those inquiring minds.
One of the ways they do this is through science teaching. This month, TES Primary meets winners of the Primary Teacher of Science Awards 2000. Katie Harris from Kent concentrated last term on encouraging children to formulate questions. "Sometimes I have to say to them that there isn't an answer yet because we don't know," she says. "That makes the subject even more amazing if the adults haven't got the answers." (See pages 32-34.) An open mind may b scientists' most important tool as they seek to solve the world's environmental problems. Perhaps children from Pauline Hannigan's class in rural Cornwall, who have engaged enthusiastically with rubbish and recycling, will be among the boffins of the future who apply their imaginations to the state of the Earth.
It also takes imagination and an open mind to question assumptions about other people. With January 27 designated as the first Holocaust Memorial Day, this month's issue looks at teaching tolerance and examining prejudice, with classroom and assembly ideas and a short story.
Diane Hofkins Editor TES Primary.