Leading article: Sixties' chime

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The Independent Online

David Bell, the chief inspector of schools has labelled the trendy teaching of the 1960s and 1970s as "plain crackers".

David Bell, the chief inspector of schools has labelled the trendy teaching of the 1960s and 1970s as "plain crackers". This comes hot on the heels of Tony Blair's attack on the culture of the "Swinging Sixties" as partly to blame for social breakdown. In a defence of the national curriculum and literacy programmes, Mr Bell this week hit out at the "eccentric and unevaluated" teaching methods which saw children left to learn to read "by osmosis". But even the most trenchant critics of the current testing regime are not calling for a return to the 1960s. Moderation is good in all things. Mr Bell is right to demand the rigorous teaching of the basics, but he should leave out the bit about the 1960s.

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