Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Tennis anyone?

Government recognises that Britain has not had a Wimbledon champion for many years. To solve this 'problem', every baby will be given a tennis racket and be expected to play as they grow up. This a clearly an absurd solution to a genuine problem. People do not learn to play tennis well by being given a free tennis racket but because they want to play.

Why does Government think that giving books to babies will help them learn to read!?!


Astolath said...

It's coincidental that you should post about this...

Just been reading the chapter on parenting in 'Freakonomics'. Statistically, one of the signposts as to whether a child will do well academically is whether there are lots of books in the house. Paradoxically, they don't actually have to read the books to benefit - it's more of a sign of smart parents who pass on their good genes and smart habits to their kids. Parents who read to their children regularly have little or no effect on their kids academic growth.

A similar book scheme was launched in Illinois in the US last year - the idea being that kids would receive up to 60 books by the time they reached kindergarten. It has apparently proved contraversial because of the lack of evidence that it will actually do any good...

Snafu said...

Astolath, I've heard about this book, I think I'll put it on my Amazon wish list..

As you say, the presence of books does not mean that the children will excel at school, it's just an indicator of parental involvement in their child's development.

Simply providing free books will reduce this link, not strengthen it!!

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