By ROBERT J. HOARE CATHOLIC teachers who take upon themselves the responsi Fr. Rorke said the responsibility for the religious formation of the children rested with the parents. "Parents are the professionals," he said. "Teachers are the amateurs." Fr. Rorke criticised the attitude of mind that saw in the provision of Catholic schools the key to the future of the Faith in England. He said these preoccupations with the building of schools since the war was based on the wrong idea. Schools and teachers did not form the child. The parents did that. A "good Catholic child" was not, as people often said, a credit to -the school in which he was educated but a credit to his parents. He commented on the gap between parents and teachers which some schools allowed to develop, and emphasised the importance of involving the parents in the work of the school rather than cutting them off from it.
Fr. Rorke was speaking at a conference on Primary education organised by the 100-strong Metropolitan Catholic Teachers' Association. His theme of teachers taking a fresh look at things was echoed by other speakers. Mrs. C. V. Deslandes, headmistress of a North London school and a member of the National Union of Teachers Executive. reminded the teachers that they should be training children for the world in which they would be living as adults—not for the world in which the teachers grew up. Three lecturers from Goldsmiths' College, London University, Miss Grace Greiner, Miss M. Bogford and Mr. G. L. Marsh, spoke about new knowledge of the way children learned and particularly of the new approach to teaching mathematics, Miniature cornputers for children were placed on display. •
Miss Elise Steiner showed the kind of creative activities that could be provided for junior
schools. And Sister Gabrielle Therese, S.N.D., of Mount Pleasant College, Liverpool, covered psychological aspects. The conference was a prelude to re a national conference of Catholic education in the primary schools which will be held by the Catholic Teachers' Federation at De La Salle College, Manchester, next Easter.