From: Jack Brown, Lamb Lane, Monk Bretton, Barnsley.
THE speech by Professor Mick Waters (Yorkshire Post, January 5) is exactly what I would have expected given my experience in mature teacher training in the 1960s.
I was so frustrated by the unscientific Education “philosophy” that I independently researched brain development, language and intelligence. Despite my outstanding grades in English and drama, my education tutor tried to send me down when I challenged his assertions.
As a leading Labour politician at the time, I was also a prime mover for comprehensive education in Barnsley. I wanted to see grammar school standards in every secondary school.
If I had known when I began teaching in 1970 that Prof Waters’ philosophy would prevail, I would have protected the grammar schools. Two generations of children, my own and my grandchildren among them, have suffered from the “education” promoted by Prof Waters. Only compensatory home education has saved them from the ignorance and savagery of so many of their unfortunate schoolmates.
Phonic methods are not only historically proven, we now know that they enhance bushing of the language areas of the brain from the age of two to three; so does rote learning of times tables. Because we do not have linear history, many children have no temporal orientation. Because we do not have map reading, geology, economics and biology-based geography, they have no spatial orientation. They drift aimlessly and destructively into an unknown world. The Government should abolish all university departments of education and turn teacher training over to science departments.
Eleven-plus Sats are no substitute for the actual examination which tested practical ability in English (general knowledge) and maths (mental arithmetic) but they should be used to stream classes in order to deliver efficient, whole-class teaching.
Ease of class change within one building, based on performance, will ensure that the unfair element of the divisive grammar school system is not repeated.
Black and white ban
From: David W Wright, Uppleby, Easingwold.
IN light of the furore over the “racist” remarks made by footballers, their supporters and also Diane Abbott MP’s recent comments, may I suggest that in future the words white and black are banned to avoid any further controversy.
The preoccupation with political correctness and racial discrimination has wrecked all conversation and rapport for fear of offending someone or something even if the original remark was only intended in jest or without malice.
We are now entering the world of Orwell’s 1984 and complete state control of the whole of our lives. Is this what we all want?
Laying down the law
From: Malcolm Naylor, Otley.
THE hypocrisy of the Conservative-Liberal Democrat Government knows no bounds and the latest interference in Scottish affairs is a prime example.
The London Government is laying down the law to Scotland dictating when it should hold a referendum on separation while at the same time reneging on promises to the English for a referendum on leaving the European Union.
Further examples of Mr Cameron’s hypocrisy are the deceitful policies on curbing the excessive pay of executives, which will never materialise, while cutting benefits and income for the low paid is absolutely certain.
Families with two children are to be hit by having their income cut by £1,250 a year for the next three years and public sector workers are having huge cuts in pay and pension conditions.
To add further insult, the corporate tax avoidance of at least £25bn will continue to rob the taxpayer while pensioners lose their travel concessions.
And elsewhere travel costs of privatised services are astronomical, forcing more and more people on to the road, causing pollution and congestion so that this Government and their oil company friends can clean up with profits and taxes. The poor are being punished for the greed of the rich.
The country has suffered many bad governments in the past and the Conservative-Liberal Coalition is keeping to this tradition. We are now at war and the enemy is a fraudulent democracy and the Establishment elite. The only other alternative is to emigrate (to Scotland).