How Shall We School Our Children? Primary Education and Its Future

How Shall We School Our Children? Primary Education and Its Future

How Shall We School Our Children? Primary Education and Its Future

How Shall We School Our Children? Primary Education and Its Future

Synopsis

A team of highly regarded contributors were invited to take a rational look at the future of primary schools, particularly during the first 20 years of the next millennium. They were asked to consider many questions, including: What are the roots of primary education? What is the justification for a radical agenda? How well is the system working and in what ways could it further optimize its effectiveness in the interests of the participants? What is a primary school, and what purpose does it serve, and what ends does it have in view? Are these ends appropriate for the future? What are the roles and identities of teachers, pupils and parents, and what are they going to be? What are the means by which primary education accomplishes its ends? What are the yardsticks against which it is judged? This book, then, represents the thinking of key scholars and researchers working in the area of primary education and will be essential reading for those involved with the education of primary aged children.

Excerpt

'Well begun, is half done', is an adage as true today as it ever was and is especially true of primary education. the foundations in learning, thinking and feeling which it provides are essential for what comes later not only in schooling but also in life. Too often the achievements of primary education are swallowed up in secondary, further and higher education despite the evidence of the critical importance of learning and understanding the 'basics' (which go well beyond literacy and numeracy) to later success in schooling. This book is being both a corrective of the taken for granted view of primary education and an audit of its qualities as the century comes to an end. Both may help everyone-parents, teachers, Government, local authorities and the public at large-to reflect on what steps to take as they seek to improve the education of young children in the first half of the twenty-first century. Their education underpins their future and society owes it to them to equip them to deal with its problems and possibilities. It is to this end that this book is addressed most especially to the teachers and to their pupils some of whom as primary teachers themselves will contribute to the further development of primary education as the twenty-first century unfolds.

Colin Richards
Philip Taylor
January 1998 . . .

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