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Thoughts on thinking

It was with delight that I read Michael Barber's "Last Word" (TES, October 27) in which he discussed John Edward's ideas on thinking about thinking. I teach the oft-maligned subject of religious education. For many years, RE teachers have been arguing, in an educational wilderness, that thinking is more important than knowing. At last it seems that this idea might gather some momentum.

However, might I suggest that the study of thinking about thinking is not a new one? I believe that it is better known as philosophy, best translated as the love of wisdom or learning As Michael Barber stated, knowledge grows at a rate that far outstrips any individual's ability to gather it. Perhaps in the present climate of testing fever, which concentrates on knowledge retention rather than an ability to apply that knowledge, we need to learn from a story about one of history's greatest thinkers, Albert Einstein. When stopped at a customs post and asked for information, he replied "I remember only my name, everything else I can look up".

PAUL HOPKINS

22 Eastfield Street Lincoln

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