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Written by: Diana West
Sunday, January 04, 2009 7:01 AM 

Newsflash from the London Telegraph:

"Hundreds of schools have banned their teachers from marking in red ink in case it upsets the children."

An excerpt:

Pupils increasingly find that the ticks and crosses on their homework are in more soothing shades like green, blue, pink and yellow or even in pencil. ...

The red pen goes back further than most schools, having been developed during the mid-19th century when ammonia-based dyes became available.
But the opposition to using red ink is now a worldwide trend with recent guidelines to schools in Queensland, Australia warning that the colour can damage students psychologically.

There are no set guidelines in this country on marking, and schools are free to formulate their own individual policies.

Crofton Junior School in Orpington, Kent, whose pupils are aged 7 to 11, is among hundreds to have banned red ink.
Its 'Marking Code of Practice' states: "Work is generally marked in pen - not red - but on occasion it may be appropriate to indicate errors in pencil so that they may be corrected. Teachers must be sensitive about writing directly onto pupils' final work."

Head teacher Richard Sammonds said: "Red pen can be quite de-motivating for children. It has negative, old school connotations of 'See me' and 'Not good enough'....We use highlighter pens in all colours of the rainbow--apart from red. There are pinks, blues, greens and fluorescent yellows. The idea is to raise standards by taking a positive approach. We highlight bits that are really good in one colour and use a different colour to mark areas that could be improved."

Question: Is this a civilization worth saving?

 

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