Teachers Warned on Use of Aids

28 December 1972 The Canberra Times 

Sydney, Wednesday.

School teachers who unthinkingly accept new learning aids are a danger to pupils, according to Mr R. A. Prowse, an inspector of schools in the Tumut area.

As more learning aids are provided, the teachers' potential for harm will in-crease, Mr Prowse says in the current issue of the NSW Education Department publication, The Leader.

Mr Prowse discusses "The real challenge of the seventies", which he says is "humanisation of instruction".

Many important features of school life arose from the emotional involvement and interaction of people, he said.

"No text or machine can be sufficient in itself", he said.

"It may well be that deeper professional commitment than ever before will be required of our teachers if we are not to abdicate many of our responsibilities".

Although programed learning in mathematics may be ideal, "Many of us would surely question its worth in the development and transmission of community values", he said.

Mr Prowse stressed that he did not regard the programed materials as unsatisfactory, but he warned that responsible people, desiring nothing but the best for children might have their visions clouded by "an excess of enthusiasm for new methods".

"Whether a child can ever feel any vitality in his involvement with a book or machine must be a question which remains uppermost in a teacher's mind when he or she is allocating personal time to pupils", he said.

"The personal element in education must remain paramount, and we will be wise to adopt a 'conservatively progressive' approach to new materials, being interested but cautious".