Shallow Pacific

11th July 1997 at 01:00
David Reynolds appears to have discovered that the mass schooling systems of the Pacific Rim are obsolete too (TES, June 27). Since I have had to spend time trying to prise open the gridlocked minds of some of the graduates of such systems in the past, this is no surprise.

Training students to be good at the shallow learning of selected mechanical tricks of institutionally-imposed syllabuses does not produce the more important deep learning, the kind we will need more and more. Indeed shallow learning systems tend to eradicate the potential to develop deep learning, as the most brain activity research shows, on the "if you do not use it, you lose it" principle.

The international tables are, in the end, comparing one obsolete learning system with another. It is a bit like having a best typewriter contest in the middle of a voice-driven word-processor and computer age. I propose we ignore all the obsolete systems and design and establish the next learning system instead, recycling such buildings, resources and staff as prove to be adaptable.

Roland Meighan 113 Arundel Drive Bramcote Hills, Nottingham

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