We are all postmen now

8th October 2004 at 01:00
I am increasingly baffled at the cliched and misleading use of the word "delivering" in educational vocabulary, frequently used as half of the hackneyed educational slogan "Delivering excellence".

Councils and the Department for Education and Skills have forgotten, in their efforts to self-promote, to recognise the obvious fact that teachers teach.

Does the metaphor of "delivering" education unintentionally reveal Messrs Clarke and Blair's vision? A Gradgrindian model of learning where children are passive receptacles of essentially useless bits of knowledge.

The role of the teacher, or rather, postman, is also undermined by this trendy jargon. Postal workers have no influence over the content of what is delivered. It is also almost impossible to deliver something with imagination because it is a mechanical process.

I was a postman for five years before becoming a teacher and can confirm the delivery pipeline is overflowing with mass-produced junk. If we are expected to teach with enthusiasm and excellence, the least those educational think-tankers could do is find out what a teacher does for a living.

NI Wigmore 21 Heatherbank, Walsden Todmorden, Lancashire

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