The tess archive - 9 July 1971
Mr David McPherson, Aberdeenshire's adviser in technical subjects, forecasts in his annual report that, by the end of the decade, much of subject teaching as it is today will have been discarded, and much of the curriculum will be devoted to "breadth studies" in an attempt to give pupils surveys of whole areas of experience.
Best brains are constructive
The day of the self-centred, mark-grabbing dux medallist was passing, said Mr WA Armstrong, head of Penicuik High, at the school's prizegiving. Today the best brains appeared less concerned with getting out in front in resplendent isolation and more intent in going forward in company with others who might share the glory and eventual responsibility. "Too well adjusted to become hippies, they are seeking constructive ways of saving humanity from destruction," he said.
Teaching schools comparable to teaching hospitals were proposed by Mr Farquhar Macintosh, rector of Oban High and chairman of Jordanhill College of Education board of governors, speaking at the school prizegiving. There was growing agreement that training must be more school-based than in the past. The constant complaint about the present system had been that it was too divorced from the classroom and too artificial.
Coming to terms with computers
In theory, the perfect machine system would have similarities with the language laboratory. Clarence, or whatever name the computer is given, should be able to diagnose troubles in time to alert the teacher by private line. Our all-knowing automaton would sit there with all the information to allocate each child an IQ rating and a progress mark.
All normal schooling in China has been shortened from 10 to seven years. Town schools emphasise manual work and frequently run small factories, or are run by industrial enterprises which arrange factory work as part of the syllabus. Exams have been abolished because they test only memory. Children are supposed to think for themselves, albeit within the strict context of Mao's teachings.