Gone are the days of "Why, miss, why?" According to a study at Ysgol Y Ddwylan in Newcastle Emlyn, Carmarthenshire, children have been brainwashed into thinking that learning means being seen to answer questions rather than asking them.
The study was discussed at a "Focus on Learning" conference at Lampeter university, where delegates were told by one expert that children today think of schools as places to work rather than learn. The importance of creating free-thinking learners was a recurrent theme. It is a sad indictment of our test and target-driven culture that, in many schools, the joy of discovery is being replaced too often by pressure to achieve. So three cheers for headteacher Sue Rees-Butterworth, at Ysgol Llangwyrfon near Aberystwyth, who felt compelled to rebel by encouraging pupils to put down their pens to talk, question and listen rather than write. Success cannot be measured in ink alone.