Forgotten lessons of past

26th May 2006 at 01:00
We are at the height of the testing and examination season where national tests are defended by a Department for Education and Skills spokesman as "the most reliable, objective and consistent measure of what young people have achieved" ("Scrap tests", TES, May 12) .

It is important to acknowledge that government officials haven't always taken such a blinkered view. In 1943 they wrote:

"Instead of the schools performing their proper and highly important function of fostering the potentialities of children at an age when their minds are nimble and perceptive, their curiosity strong, their imagination fertile and their spirits high, the curriculum is too often cramped and distorted by over-emphasis on examination subjects and on ways and means of defeating the examiners. The blame for this rests not with teachers but with the system."

This quotation came from a publication called Educational Reconstruction.

Sixty years later we could embark on much needed educational reconstruction using this as a basis.

Professor Colin Richards

1 Bobbin Mill Spark Bridge Cumbria

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