Think for yourself

31st March 2006 at 01:00
Were others as shocked as I was by the review in The TES Scotland, "Pass the manual, please" (March 17)?

Here, a principal teacher from East Renfrewshire advocated a reading scheme on the basis that "someone else had done the thinking for you". Why bother analysing children's understanding and teaching to it ("juggling advice and strategies") when you could just read out a script written in Edinburgh?

If, as was suggested, teaching reading requires no professional decisions, a classroom assistant could "deliver the script" to the class. The local authority could save a fortune on teachers' salaries.

It is likely, however, that East Renfrewshire parents prefer their children to be taught by professional teachers who don't find key parts of the job (and teaching reading is a key part) too complex to think about.

Sue Ellis Strathclyde University

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