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km gresham
05-04-2005, 11:01 AM
Schools 'wrap children in cotton wool'
By Liz Lightfoot, Education Correspondent
(Filed: 03/05/2005)

Schools are wrapping children in cotton wool rather than encouraging them to take risks, Sir Digby Jones, the director general of the Confederation of British Industry, said yesterday.

Sir Digby: ‘We are trying to create a nation of victims’
"Unless you educate children about risk, get them to understand it, get them to embrace it, then we will fail as a nation and fall behind our economic rivals," he said. "China will have our lunch and India will have our dinner."

Sir Digby told head teachers meeting in Telford, Shropshire, that he was alarmed some schools did not hold sports days or, when they did, made sure there were no winners or losers.

"I want sports days," he added. "I want medals for first, second and third, not for everyone who takes part. I want exams that you can fail. But we must reach down to those who do not come first, second or third and give them the confidence to find out what they are good at."

He told the National Association of Head Teachers that business had the most important stake in schools because the economy needed skilled people.

Business leaders were concerned about the number of 16-year-olds with poor reading and writing skills. "We are all taking part in something of a deceit because we are teaching the next generation that risk doesn't exist," he said.

"We are saying to them you can have rights until they are coming out of your pores. But responsibilities, taking charge of your own actions?

"We don't seem to have got it. We are trying to create a nation of victims."

05-04-2005, 11:33 AM
I wonder why these anti-coddling zealots are fixated on sports.

They sometimes mention the importance of reading, writing, science and math, but they get really worked up about little league scores.

The truth is, most adults don't keep score in sports; at least not for longer than 20 minutes after the game is over.

I know lots of people in running and biking clubs. They don't care about competition, they just do it for exercise and comraderie.

Most major cities have 5k, 10k or marathons with thousands, or tens of thousands of participants. Nobody but the very top runners care about winning. Most are just happy to participate.

I have friends who play golf weekly. They keep score, but not as if they care. My favorite sports, climbing, skiing and sailing have both competitive and recreational levels. I think most people are content with recreation.

Since most adults don't keep score for themselves, why do some get so worked up about keeping score for kids?