Evidence needed

March 24, 2006

No, Richard Austen-Baker (Letters, March 17) may not point out that the adoption of "look and say", "real books" and "positive marking" in British schools has "had a disastrous effect on pupils' learning and contributed to the... lack of knowledge, academic skills and even basic literacy and numeracy among university freshers", because he has no empirical research evidence to support those extravagant claims. But research has shown how teaching can improve students' academic literacy.

Neil Mercer Cambridge University

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