Letters Extra: Positively doomed

24th January 2003 at 00:00

It is not my intention to sound defeatist and negative, but Charlesnbsp;Clarke's strategy to tackle poor behaviour in schools (TES, January 10) is doomed to failure.

Why?nbsp; Because the pupil disaffection that is manifest innbsp; such behaviour is rooted in a failure to meet children's real needs, many of which are emotional.nbsp;

This is partially due to a narrowed andnbsp;prescriptive curriculum which is no longer learner-centered, but it isnbsp;also due to a loss of emphasis on the importance of stable relationshipsnbsp;in children's lives.nbsp; This includes relationships with teachers who havenbsp;time to listen and talk.

Behaviour 'experts' already exist - Bill Rogers and Sue Cowley, to namenbsp;but two, and teachers can attend their courses and read their books.nbsp;

It is possible to make life slightly more tolerable in the classroom as anbsp;result of determinedly adopting different strategies, but unless thenbsp;government acknowledges that there is something very wrong with currentnbsp;educational policy nothing of substance is going to change.

Mark Edwards
George Street

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