Trivial humility

28th January 2000 at 00:00
IF YOU have an IQ of 130 and can't remember, you must be a teacher. Or so it would appear from our occupational breakdown of prizewinners on Who Wants to be a Millionaire?

Of course it's embarrassing when a deputy head doesn't know that Charles Kennedy is the Liberal Democrats' leader. But does it really matter if a teacher can't name the horse that collapsed in the 1956 Grand National? (Devon Loch, in case you were wondering)

Quiz shows are popular entertainment - and great levellers that allow sewage workers like John McKeown of Glasgow (he won pound;64,000) to emerge from their boiler-suited chysalis.

But even the most academic quizzes are odd measures of intelligence. Retired secretary Daphne Fowler, who was Radio 4's Brain of Britain last year, admitted she had to write "Left" and "Right" on her hands to pass her driving test.

It's tempting to suggest that teachers shouldn't risk such a public humiliation. But that would be sadly defeatist and deprive the rest of us of much innocent entertainment. Besides, teachers who "bomb" on TV quizzes teach children an important lesson: the necessity of absorbing the appropriate information for any particular task they have to do.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now