Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai is too young to be compared to Mother Teresa or Aung San Suu Kyi ("Is Malala the new Mother Teresa?", 7 March). The last thing she needs is the burden of an impossible-to-live-up-to reputation. The beauty of Malala's story is in her youthful idealism and untainted sincerity.
As a Muslim she offers an enlightened alternative to the fanaticism that so dominates our perception of her co-religionists. As a schoolgirl she reminds us that education is precious and should not be taken for granted. In an interview on BBC One's Panorama, she said: "Education is neither Eastern nor Western, education is education and it's the right of every human being." The wisdom of this courageous child gives us all hope and should be incorporated into the mission statement of every school.
Stan Labovitch Windsor, Berkshire
Subject knowledge should stay a hot topic
Top marks for highlighting the central importance of subject knowledge and the need for subject-specific continuing professional development and support ("Why your staff need to know their stuff", Professional, 7 March).
Whether we are finding out about newly introduced topics or keeping abreast of tried and tested favourites, we should recognise that Google is no substitute for subject knowledge. The extensive programmes offered by subject bodies - such as the Royal Geographical Society - are invaluable for helping teachers to keep up to date and maintain their enthusiasm.
Steve Brace Head of education and outdoor learning, Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers
We must keep neuroscience in mind
The article "Neuroscience a no-brainer? Think again, expert says" (28 February) reflects the prevalent mood of rejecting everything that doesn't have immediate utility in chasing grades. The "no-brainer" is that increasing our understanding of how the brain functions has to be relevant to education.
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