Friday, 3 October 2008

”We Don’t Need No Education…Part 453”

A primary school has axed spelling homework because pupils find learning lists of words 'distressing'.

Children at the Whitminster Church of England Primary, in Gloucestershire, will no longer be given a short list of words to learn each week because staff believe it leaves them feeling like failures.
That’s the attitude we need to inculcate in children – in the immortal words of Homer Simpson, “If something's hard to do, then it's not worth doing!...”
Parents' groups called the move 'ridiculous' but headmistress Debbie Marklove, whose school has just over 100 pupils aged four to 11, has invited parents to a meeting to explain her reasons.

In a newsletter, Mrs Marklove wrote: 'You will notice that the children will not be given spelling lists to learn over the week.

'We have taken the decision to stop spelling as homework as it is felt that although children may learn them perfectly at home they are often unable to use them in their daily written work.

'Also many children find this activity unnecessarily distressing.'
Diddums! God forbid children should be ever be ‘distressed’ by their inability to do anything. I wonder what she’s going to do when some learn that they can’t run as fast as their classmates – hobble the quicker ones? Probably!

And note the phrasing: ‘We have taken this decision’, inviting parents to a meeting to ‘explain her reasons’. No suggestion there that she may be in the wrong, or not qualified to make such a decision. Perhaps no-one ever told her she was useless at teaching…
A spokesman for the school said no parents had complained about the policy.

But Nick Seaton, chairman of the Campaign for Real Education, said the decision would come back to haunt her pupils as some spellings, particularly irregular words, needed to be learned.

'Youngsters will feel a sense of failure more strongly when they go into the world of work and can't produce a letter or a report for their employers,' he said.
Quite. But they’ll have wonderful self-esteem.

Too bad it’ll be based on nothing…

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