‘Modernising’ is the last thing our schools need

‘Modernising’ is the last thing our schools need. Surprising though it may now seem, back in the early Sixties, when all the radical, “child-centred” changes were about to be forced through, there was general contentment with education nationwide.

Today, by contrast, worried articles on education, and even on such basics as reading and numeracy, are a constant feature of newspapers.

Logic dictates that every single change in education that has taken place since 1960 should be reversed.

Nevile Gwynne, best-selling author of Gwynne’s Grammar, makes a provocative case for a return to traditional teaching methods.

When the child-centred teaching theory finally triumphed in England in the Sixties, many headmasters, leading academics, MPs and others well placed to judge went on public record as predicting exactly the destructive results that are now evident.

General reforms recommended:

  • Schools single-sex, to minimise distractions and worse
  • Boys taught by male teachers, girls by female teachers
  • Discipline uncompromising. Obedience to teachers absolute
  • Extensive memorising of all basics of the subjects being learnt; practising the memorised rules; then each child developing his or her own style under the “umbrella” of those rules

He recommends banning computers (as in leading schools in Silicon Valley today), iPads, and tv.

Is all this absurd – even outrageous? Be assured that what I have outlined worked. It worked even though the students of past times worked very much less hard than today’s students do.

hat-tip Stephen Neil