Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Nanny Bans Spleeeling
Oh dear, Nanny is worried about the dangers that educashun might instill a sense of failure in children.
Surely educashun instills confidence?
Ah, how naive we all are for thinking that!
For you see dear readers, when you teach a child something like spelling what happens if he/she makes a mistake?
In my day I would be made to write the offending word out several times, until I got it right.
Now we live in more enlightened times, Nanny tells us that learning to spell and making mistakes in spelling will give rise to a sense of failure.
I am grateful to Nanny for pointing this out, now that I have reached a ripe and productive middle age I now realise that in fact (because I made spelling mistakes...and still do) I am in fact a failure.
Anyhoo, if you think that I am making this all up think, I would like to direct you Whitminster Endowed Church of England Primary School, near Stroud.
Headmistress Debbie Marklove recently decreed that pupils will not be given lists of words to learn by rote as homework.
There is a risk that children will feel a "sense of failure" if, having learned the words at home, they were unable to spell them at school the next day.
She has even written to the parents to tell them about the change:
"You will notice that the children will not be given spelling lists to learn over the week and then be tested in class.
We have taken the decision to stop spellings 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.
The spelling patterns will continue to be taught explicitly in the classroom and assessed as part of the normal marking by the teacher."
Errmmm...how would she have been abel to rite that lettter if she coodent spell proper?
Surely no one would have been able to understand it?
Mrs Marklove went on to dig her own grave by saying:
"If children are given spellings to learn and get five out of five when practising with mum and dad and then only get one out of five the next day at school, it can give them a sense of failure.
I've heard comments in the playground from children asking each other what they got and, where this can be a positive thing when they get five out of five, it can also impound failure."
A small piece of advice for Nanny's teechers, competition is good as it encourages pupils to stretch themselves.
Learning to compete, and fail, is vital in order to be able to interact and succeed in the adult world. Those adults who as children have never tasted failure, and have not picked themselves up afterwards, are usually immature spoilt individuals who cannot cope in the adult world.
Nanny is stunting children's growth by not stretching them in this way.
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