Thinking skills

18th May 2001 at 01:00
IMPROVING THINKING SKILLS THROUGH THE LITERACY HOUR. By Mike Lake and Frankie Fisher. Questions Publishing pound;9.99. TES price pound;8.99 plus 99p pamp;p per order.

The introduction is admirably clear: "The teaching of thinking has to become embedded in the curriculum as a whole." But it becomes murky when the authors start talking about their "top 10 thinking tactics", the "basis" of their "thinking skills programme". But what are their top 10 thinking tactics? They never tell us. Diagrams purportingto demonstrate classroom interaction add to the sense of cult induction.

Despite the booklet's title, "the focus is on PSHE themes". Many of the specific literacy hour suggestions could be described as soft or piffling. "Write an account of something you are good at". "Turn the passage into direct speech". While a less able group is asked to "Turn the first half of the passage into direct speech".

Michael Thorn is deputy head of Hawkes Farm primary school, Hailsham, East Sussex.

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