Past TimesEd

13th February 2004 at 00:00
75 years ago

* February 9, 1929

Many businessmen lament the death of the copybook and imagine that its demise is the cause of the bad handwriting of today. Few teachers will agree. The copybook was a bad substitute for the writing master, and its radical defects were quite sufficient to kill it, even had the War not come to administer the coup de grace. It was forced upon schools by reason of enormous classes, to cope with which individual methods had not then been developed. It gave no instruction how to write, and provided in practice little check upon forced every child into a stereotyped handwriting; it compelled the adoption of one (unnatural) sitting position, and the use of one type of nib; it made no provision for the left-handed; and it was intolerably dull.

50 years ago

* February 12, 1954

The increased interest in education among politicians is a mixed blessing.

Few can want the secondary school pattern to change with every Government.

That is why a gradualness and willingness to compromise should particuarly mark all educational development. There is little of this spirit in the London Plan or its principal proponents. Everyone would have been prepared for limited comprehensive experiments in particular areas. But the London County Council intend to sacrifice all their maintained grammar schools without exception to a hazardous, expensive and untried system.

25 years ago

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

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