My objection is purely academic

15th July 2016 at 00:00

Classroom practitioners should not have been surprised to read about the latest pedagogical quackery in TESS (“Why early years children are hitting the dough gym”, Professional, 8 July).

Indeed, the notion expressed in the article that most children need to build up their muscles in order to hold a pencil will have left many thinking that 1 April must have been moved to July.

Despite the widespread neuroscientific dismissal of programmes based on the old visual-auditory-kinaesthetic (VAK) model, too many iterations still seem to make it into our classrooms.

For the most part, doctors working for the NHS are not allowed to employ unproven medical practices, thanks to the work of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). Sadly, there is no equivalent independent expert review mechanism in the UK that could protect our nation’s teachers from the snake oil that threatens to sap school budgets.

Teachers need an equivalent to NICE, providing both research and evidence-based guidance, if our understanding of learning is to be truly enhanced.

Neil Roskilly

Chief executive officer The Independent Schools Association

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