Ted's teaching tips;The Big Picture

12th March 1999 at 00:00
Every one of these wrecks was once someone's pride and joy, yet now they are scrapped.

Motor transport: What are the good and bad features of a motorised society? Should we ban cars and have to walk or cycle to work or school? The "green" solution is tempting, but would you be willing to walk? Should fire engines, ambulances and police cars also be banned? What about home deliveries, family visitors, the elderly and infirm? Are there alternatives (electric cars, "clean" fuels, car sharing) and would these still lead to jams?

Throwaway society: Some cars last less than 10 years. What else do we throw away? (washing machines, televisions, cookers, outdated computers, unfashionable clothes, outgrown shoes). Is a "throwaway" culturea good or bad thing (keeps economy buoyant, safer, up-to-date equipment; but wasteful, creates litter)?

Environment: What can we do with big junk, like cars? Specialised rubbish tips? Bury underground? Sink at sea? What can be recycled from a car (metal (especially aluminium), glass, rubber (revulcanisation), fabrics). What are the problems of recycling (poisons, cost, non-biodegradable materials).

Writing: Write a story about a much loved family car - what you call it (not "Herbie" please), the adventures you have in it, how you feel when you scrap it.

Ted Wragg is professor of education at Exeter University.

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