How they created this bored generation

11th April 2003 at 01:00
SO "test mania" is blamed for bored children (TES, March 21). Well something or, better still, someone, has to be blamed!

It has been interesting, but unsurprising, to see how the debate on standards has developed recently. Inspectors have become concerned at the demise of breadth and creativity in the primary curriculum. Weren't these once the pride and joy of primary education?

Primary teachers and children have been "knuckle-dusted" into a curriculum straitjacket; and "springboarded" and "boosted" in the inexorable pursuit of higher "standards" (ie test results) in a narrow core curriculum. But now they see a subtle shift: inspectorates, national and local, who were a short time ago cajoling teachers into tunnel-vision targeting of pupils, subjects, parts of subjects, parts of pupils, now seem to be blaming schools for lack of breadth and creativity and for boredom among pupils - as if teachers had instigated the whole sorry business.

If the principal criteria for success are related to test results in two or three subjects, teachers are going to prepare children for them. So of course children (and teachers) are going to get bored.

Dr Ron Evans

Head, Havelock junior school

Havelock Street,

Desborough, Northants

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