Letter: More homework just a quick fix?

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The Independent Online
Sir: I dispute the premise of your leading article "Lesson one: change the culture of learning" (14 January). The claim that "huge swathes" of the school population (especially boys) are hostile towards hard learning is simply not borne out by research I myself have just completed in five English state secondary schools.

Some 2,500 girls and boys, aged 11-16, were asked to construct their own ideal curriculum. For all five schools the six most frequently chosen subjects were English, Maths, Art, Drama, IT and PE. Given a free hand, the students opted for a balanced timetable that recognised equally the claims of academic as well as recreational, cultural and technical subjects.

Your article perpetuates the current demonising of the young, whose views are rarely if ever sought or considered in the "debates" about juvenile crime, drug use or education. It is ludicrous to suggest that a quick fix on homework could substitute for the inspiration of highly motivated and dedicated teachers.


Reader in Education

University of Exeter