Scotland - Call to debunk literacy 'myths'

7th May 2010 at 01:00

Schools in Scotland are basing decisions about how to teach reading and writing on "myths" and "what the school down the road is doing", according to a literacy expert.

In a hard-hitting critique of current approaches to the subject, Vivienne Smith, a lecturer and researcher at Strathclyde University, said that improvements in literacy would not occur if things remain as they are.

Her comments came in an address to the annual conference of the Scottish Teacher Education Committee.

Their timing is significant because the Donaldson review is currently investigating how teachers are trained.

Scottish Education Secretary Michael Russell has scaled back the cross-curricular testing of literacy and numeracy proposed by his predecessor Fiona Hyslop, retaining them simply as tests in English and maths.

Dr Smith called for better leadership at local and national level so classroom teachers, who may struggle to keep up to date with the latest research, could teach reading and writing in the most effective way. ES.

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