Great expectations ignore reality for 17-year-olds

18th April 1997 at 01:00
I agree with John Huckle ("Blue shades of green", TES, March 28) that a "gulf' has opened-up in recent years between the teaching of university geography and A-level geography.

However, I don't agree that the gulf is one of content. A cursory glance at any post-Dearing syllabus proposal reveals environmental issues and sustainability as key components of future A-level courses, for instance the proposed University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate syllabus has an entire module devoted to sustainable development - moreover, our current syllabus goes a long way, I feel to helping to promote "environmental values" and "environmental citizenship", so I don't know where Mr Huckle has got his "evidence from" for the gulf he claims).

No. It seems to me that the gulf is one of expectation, with many (supposed) experts being somewhat out of touch with what students at this level are capable of. Just one example to suffice.

A student of ours recently returned from an interview at a well-known university where he was asked the following question "Don't you think that human geography is essentially voyeuristic in nature and therefore immoral?" Come on, get real, how many of us so-called professionals could have answered that aged 17?

Mr J A POMEROY Head of department geography and geology Worcester 6th Form College

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