Woodhead loses touch with reality

25th August 2000 at 01:00
CHIEF inspector Chris Woodhead's latest outburst against universities for running "unacademic" courses sounds suspiciously like the immoderate zeal of the convert struggling to suppress every vestige of his very own former opinions.

He was once a learner-centred educator.

The courses he rails against look to me like a reasonable attempt to broaden and diversify the learning opportunities on offer to the ever-increasing number of young people who are breaking the ancestral mould and going to university.

The fact that many of them are vocational need not mean that they are any less demanding than the traditional disciplines.

By resonding to the interests of people who might not have considered graduate-level education in the past, the universities which offer such courses are behaving exactly as responsible, humane educators are supposed to.

Chris Woodhead used to think like this, when he was teaching real children.

Now that the chief inspector has ditched serious education in favour of Black Paper-style prejudice the many who still advocate and practise learner-centred methods are entitled to ask how long they will have to listen to his 19th-century views.

Christopher R Shute

Education Now Ltd

7 Kiln Way

Polesworth

Staffordshire


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