E-mails and comments welcome from teachers and learners of all ages.  
May 26, 2004

Incoming email from Barry Wood, full of interesting (although hard to classify) stuff and much appreciated:

Hello Brian,

I'm a regular reader of your blogs, both of which I find very informative and enjoyable. I thought you might be interested in something I came across in a local newspaper (the Surrey Comet).

Richmond Council has apparently launched a programme called "Competitive Edge" which aims to reintroduce competitive sport "to teach the children that losing is part of life".

Isn't it amazing that the day has come when the re-introduction of competitive sports to schools is news enough to merit headlines?

The wider aim it says here is to "help drive down truancies, teenage pregnancies and law-breaking." A pretty big claim but a welcome straw in the wind, all the same.

A friend of mine told me that all her school's canoeing and hill-walking classes had been greatly curtailed. Pressure from insurers, I believe.

I mention all this because awareness of 'resilience' as a crucial part of character seems to be growing. Thanks to authors like Martin Seligman in the US it has moved from the area of "fad" to a statement of the bleedin'-obvious backed up by hard science.

Here, resilience does not receive the emphasis it should, I believe. Instead children are bombarded with so many instructions to "live their dream" that an important part of the equation is left out.

That is the ability to cope with setbacks, to cope with failures and to overcome them.

all the best

Barry Wood

Posted by Brian Micklethwait at 02:31 PM
Category: This and that
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