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Why we must open our ears to student voice debate

Claire Fox and Ed Dorrell ("You know best - don't let students tell you otherwise", Editorial, 18 October) are right to highlight the dangers of too much student power. Although a highly prescriptive national curriculum precludes students from influencing what is taught, the obsession - driven by Ofsted, England's schools inspectorate - with student-centred learning and its bedfellow, independent learning, often leads to children getting an inflated sense of their own importance. The balance of power in the classroom can be undermined by teachers being reduced to the role of facilitators of learning rather than charismatic purveyors of mind-expanding knowledge. When they look back on how school influenced their lives, adults remember a powerful pedagogue, not a fatuous facilitator.

Stan Labovitch, Windsor.

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