INAUGURAL MEETING

Introduced by Geoff Catchpole, Convener on 30 May 1998

A wide range of political, economic and social issues was reviewed, a programmes policy was
decided and a provisional Autumn programme was discussed.
An initial discussion developed around the concern of a member for local languages and
cultures now under greater pressures in our increasingly globalised world. It was agreed that, ideally, all
citizens should be at least bi-lingual so that any common language is supplemented by the traditional
local language.
The meeting concluded by considering the influence of parental involvement and teaching
methods in early formal education. Longitudinal studies of disadvantaged children in nursery schools
have been undertaken in America. It has been dramatically demonstrated that children greatly improve
their lives when frequent parent-teacher relationships accompany their being taught to reason, plan and
describe their activities, rather than follow "three R's" programmes only. Such children's later real life
achievements over many years, resulting from such approaches, such as halved crime rates, greatly
improved incomes and home ownership, lasting marriages and less need for social security services, are
not indicated by I.Q test scores.

G. Catchpole.