The current outbreak of enthusiasm for "old-fashioned" teaching methods and rote-learning leaves me bemused. When I began teaching in the early Sixties we abandoned that way of working precisely because a great many conscientious teachers had come to the conclusion that it didn't work. They recognised that child-centred education, as much as, say, patient-centred medicine, though perhaps more expensive and demanding than what had gone before, was a basic necessity in a modern, post-war, humane democracy.
By the same token, it was clear to educators in those days that the old methods, by concentrating on compendious memorisation, produced not creative thinkers, but efficient regurgitators. Britain desperately needs creative thinkers. In case Chris Woodhead has not noticed, we now have computers to do any regurgitation that may be necessary.
Christopher R Shute
Press Liaison, Education Now Polesworth, Staffordshire