Letters Extra : Worm your way out of this one

16th July 2004 at 01:00
Instead of "keeping fingers crossed for the worms" borne off by two of the pupils for "a closer look under the microscope", why did Mike Kent not inform the childrennbsp;that contact with human skin is agonising for these intensely sensitive animals (TES 18 June issue).

He could then have made the effort to help the children to look at pictures in an encyclopaedia tonbsp; find out if worms have faces. He is, after all, supposed to be in the business of education; he is instead wallowing in some sentimental Rousseauesque mire, which in this case has caused unnecessary suffering and makes a mockery of his claim that working with under-fives can "give small children a thirst and passion for learning".

The children in this instance learnt nothing, other than that their fellow creatures exist purely for their interest and pleasure; and an invaluable opportunity to explain the matter to the whole class, and explore its many ramifications, was wantonly thrown away.

Results further ignorance and further cruelty, possibly for the entire lifetimes of all the children present.

Some educator.
Louise Grahame PhD

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