Past TimesEd

4th July 2003 at 01:00
75 years ago June 30, 1928

AFTER a long experiment it seems clear that the practice of broadcasting, by means of direct speech and also by means of the gramophone containing permanent records of the spoken words of famous teachers and lecturers, has a great future in education. The International Education society has now reached a practical stage, and a complete set of records was published last month. The preservation for all time of the ipsissima verba of great teachers is an educational achievement of the first importance.

50 years ago July 3, 1953

THE best thing about fashion is that it changes. This applies as much to educational theory as to women's hats. There can be no hardening of the educational arteries as long as new and old methods are being discovered, criticised, rejected, reintroduced. In the past year or two something of a reaction has set in against some of the more advanced nostrums; methods of teaching which were once ostentatiously modern have become as old-fashioned as short skirts, and those whose job it is to apply theories of education in the classroom are left with the task of trying to see that the best is retained when the dross is discarded.

25 years ago July 7, 1978

ONE of the nagging criticisms of the Schools Council over the years has been that it has failed to make an impact on the classroom commensurate with the money and effort devoted to its curriculum development programme.

It is not clear what impact the critics think the council should have had - what "par for the course" ought to be. And there is an ambivalence about the council's role which revolves around the oft-stated denial that anything put out under the council's name should be taken to have any prescriptive authority, but should stand or fall on its merits with teachers free to take it or leave it.

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