I WAS not surprised to read that the respected education guru Dylan William had sought to distance himself from the Scottish Governments P1 testing policy (“Academic hits out at way his P1 testing views were used”, The Herald, January 9).

The chief difficulty I have with the insistence by ministers to test P1 in primary schools is that, apart from using a computer screen, I expect a teacher from 1919 would recognise the testing format and principles.

The idea that the teacher should analyse the results in a formative way and, having formed a plan from the results, plot a way ahead, must be seen as yesterday’s methodology.

Pupils from primary one onwards should use programmed learning software that embeds this process. Education Secretary John Swinney should invest in software that allows computers to become interactive learning and teaching machines.

Pupils would follow instructions in small steps and be reinforced when learning had taken place, and be given remedial looped tutorials where evidence indicates that learning has not been effective.

The role of the teacher becomes that of the learning manager who monitors the efficacy of the outcomes for individual pupils. Education has to reflect the fact that most young people today seldom get books for Christmas; they get smart phones and tablets.

Bill Brown,

46 Breadie Drive, Milngavie.