Letters extra: Learning to play a model role

2nd March 2001 at 00:00

I don't want to disparage the praise heaped on primary teachers by the chief inspector ("The best set of inspections ever", TES , February 9). Like him I have no doubt that, since 1994, the quality of teaching has improved.

It would be strange if it had not, given the teaching profession's long-standing commitment to school improvement and to implementing government initiatives (long before the advent of New Labour).

But I suspect part of the reported improvement is due to what I would call the "demon barber" effect.

Inspectors judge how far lessons conform to models of effective teaching enshrined in the numeracy and literacy strategies.

Teachers have become willing to comply with these, at least during inspections. This does not necessarily mean children's learning has been enhanced.

Colin Richards
1 Bobbin Mill
Spark Bridge

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