But Mom & Dad, I Didn't Fail - I Just Deferred Success

Discussion in 'Europe' started by GotZoom, Jul 22, 2005.

  1. GotZoom
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    A RETIRED primary school teacher has called for the word “failure” to be banned from the classroom and replaced with “deferred success”.

    Liz Beattie, who taught for 37 years, said that children’s aspirations to learn are crushed as soon as they are deemed failures and that they should be praised instead.

    The motion to remove the word “fail” from the educational vocabulary will be put formally to members of the Professional Association of Teachers (PAT) at the union’s annual conference in Buxton, Derbyshire, at the end of the month.

    Critics said that it was just another example of “politically correct madness” creeping into the classroom, but Mrs Beattie, who lives in Ipswich and is the Suffolk Federation Secretary of the association, said that children responded better to encouragement than to being told they had passed or failed.

    She said: “I think we all need to succeed at something. You need encouragement rather than being told you haven’t done very well.

    “Learning should be lifelong and it should be something that everybody knows they can do and knows they can have a bash at. I’d rather tell kids that they have done jolly well. You can then say, ‘Tomorrow we should try that’, rather than just saying, ‘You have failed’.”

    The union of 35,000 teachers already recognises that pupils have “differing abilities and learn at differing rates and that all individual achievement should be recognised”. Mrs Beattie, 68, insisted that the association should go further. She said: “I would be surprised if we didn’t get the motion through because there are enough teachers at all levels who know that, with little ones, you’ve got to get them motivated and with the older ones you’ve got to give them confidence going into exams.”

    But the idea was denounced as “politically correct madness” by Suzanna Proud, 28, a mother of two. “When you apply for university they are hardly going to say, ‘Well you have had some deferred success so we’ll let you in’. They will say, ‘Sorry, you failed your exams. You don’t meet requirements’.” If the motion to ban the word is accepted by the union, its ruling council will make it part of policy for its members in primary, secondary and nursery schools across the country.

    Howard Martin, 54, who runs an online campaign against political correctness, said: “When children go through school they should learn how life works. Mollycoddling them will have completely the opposite effect.”

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1700769,00.html
     

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