Past TimesEd

9th January 2004 at 00:00
75 years ago

* January 5, 1929

At the opening of a New Year it is usual to look backward for diagnosis and forward for hope - hope that too often diagnosis does not justify. This is not the case at the opening of the year 1929. Looking backwards we see no apparently exceptional effects, but there is a record of quiet, steady progress that synchronises in fact with the steady progress of public interest in national education. It is true that the Old Year has shown many weaknesses in the way of bad buildings, excessively large classes, a low standard of education in many schools, a high percentage of ill-health among schoolchildren, and a passionate desire for examination results. Yet a cheering fact is that these symptoms of educational ill-health are fully open for discussion and are largely admitted. Symptoms concealed are the most dangerous.

* 75 years agol January 8, 1954

Teachers in England should count their blessings. They are seldom blamed.

It is interesting that public criticism, however bitterly it may round from time to time on the educational system, usually leaves the teacher out of it. There was a broadcast last year upon illiteracy. It purported to review all the possible causes; it dwelt upon large classes, the handicaps of some children, and what we called "new" methods. Even in this last, however, it breathed no word against the teachers who used these methods. It seems generally agreed here that teachers are the salt of the earth.

* 25 years ago

An industrial dispute kept The TES out of production from November 30, 1978 to November 16, 1979.

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