Past TimesEd

20th June 2003 at 01:00
75 years ago. June 16, 1928

Leisure was a duty which must be safeguarded for pupils and teachers alike, and schools should be places of training for leisure as well as for learning. The perfect life must be perfect in all three dimensions. Length, her vocation, was best sought through work and mental effort. Breadth came through activities outside the classroom. Height was the dimension which often suffered, for schoolgirls seldom had the leisure to look up.

(Report of a speech by Miss L A Lowe, head of Leeds Girls' High School and president of the Association of Head Mistresses at its 54th annual conference.) 50 years ago. June 19, 1953

People's second-hand opinions of the United States are necessarily coloured by the prominence Senator McCarthy's activities receive on this side of the Atlantic. The preposterous is entertaining to read about, while the more humdrum escapes attention. Nevertheless, two reports last week-end, of a speech by President Eisenhower and of a published letter written by Dr Albert Einstein show that the cause of academic freedom is not being allowed to languish for want of support in high places.

25 years ago. June 23, 1978

As the wheels roll on slowly towards the reform of the secondary school examination system the attempt by Her Majesty's Inspectorate to generate a general discussion of the idea of a core curriculum seems to have been overtaken by administration. What is likely to happen is that the process of rationalizing the examination system will involve a greater amount of coordination in the content to which different subject labels are attached.

The more exotic options will be circumscribed. The function of the examination system as a control mechanism for the curriculum will be re-asserted.

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