Children, their World, their Education
Final Report and Recommendations of the Cambridge Primary Review
Children, their World, their Education is the definitive text for students, teachers, researchers, educational leaders and all who are interested in primary education. As the culmination of the Cambridge Primary Review, the most comprehensive enquiry into English primary education for half a century, its publication provoked instant and dramatic headlines. Widespread support from teachers and eminent public figures demonstrated that the book had identified the issues that really mattered. Ministerial unease showed that here were findings that politicians could not ignore.
But Children, their World, their Education is much more than a report. It is an unrivalled educational compendium that systematically covers the issues that are central to the daily work of students, teachers and heads. For trainee teachers on undergraduate and postgraduate courses it effectively maps the territory of primary education and provides the context, information and insight which are essential to the development of classroom skill. Its vast range of carefully evaluated evidence makes it a core resource for those undertaking research and advanced study. Its direct engagement with the policy process during a period of unprecedented change makes it an indispensable tool for policy analysis. It places England’s education system in the global context, and combines evidence on recent developments with a vision of how primary education should be.
Part 1 sets the scene and tracks primary education policy since the 1960s.
Part 2 examines children’s development and learning, their needs and aspirations, and their lives in a diverse society and fragile world.
Part 3 explores what goes on in schools, from the vital early years to educational aims and values, the curriculum, pedagogy and classroom practice, assessment, standards and school organisation.
Part 4 deals with the system as a whole: educational ages and stages, the work and training of primary teachers, school leadership, local authorities, funding, governance and policy.
Part 5 pulls everything together with 78 conclusions and 75 recommendations for policy and practice.
Companion volume: The Cambridge Primary Review Research Surveys, edited by Robin Alexander with Christine Doddington, John Gray, Linda Hargreaves and Ruth Kershner. The Cambridge Primary Review is supported by Esmée Fairbairn Foundation: www.primaryreview.org.uk.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction Part I: Contexts 2. The Review and Other Discourses 3. Policies and Legacies Part II: Children and Childhood 4. Childhood Today 5. Children’s Lives Outside School 6. Parenting, Caring and Educating 7. Children’s Development and Learning 8. Children, Diversity and Equity 9. Children with Special Needs 10. Children’s Voices Part III: The Experience of Primary Education 11. Foundations 12. What is Primary Education for? 13. Curriculum Past and Present 14. Towards a New Curriculum 15. Pedagogy 16. Assessment, Learning and Accountability 17. Attainment, Standards and Quality 18. Schools and Communities Part IV: The System of Primary Education 19. Structures and Transitions 20. Schools, Local Authorities and Other Agencies 21. Teachers 22. Professional Leadership and Workforce Reform 23. The Context and Impact of Policy Part V: Conclusions and Recommendations 24. Conclusions and Recommendations
Robin Alexander is Director of the Cambridge Primary Review, Fellow of Wolfson College, University of Cambridge, and Professor of Education Emeritus, University of Warwick, UK.
Michael Armstrong is a writer and former Head Teacher of Harwell Primary School, Oxfordshire, UK.
Julia Flutter is Research Associate at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, UK.
Linda Hargreaves is Reader in Education, University of Cambridge, UK.
Wynne Harlen is Visiting Professor at the Graduate School of Education, University of Bristol, UK.
David Harrison is former Research Associate at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, UK.
Elizabeth Hartley-Brewer is a social policy consultant, parenting adviser, journalist and author.
Ruth Kershner is Lecturer in Education, University of Cambridge, UK.
John MacBeath is Professor of Education, University of Cambridge, UK.
Berry Mayall is Professor of Childhood Studies at the Institute of Education, University of London, UK.
Stephanie Northen is an education journalist and editor.
Gillian Pugh is Chair of the National Children’s Bureau and Visiting Professor, Institute of Education, University of London, UK.
Colin Richards is Emeritus Professor, University of Cumbria, UK, and a former primary HMI.
David Utting is a writer, researcher, policy analyst and former Associate Director at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, UK.
‘What an inspirational book! I have been a head teacher for twenty years and this is the best book on primary education that I have ever read.' – Bob Garton, Head Teacher, London
‘This is the most thorough, research-based analysis of primary schools I have seen in over two decades of reporting on education. It should carry the testimonial "This book should change English primary schools forever".’ – Mike Baker, formerly Senior BBC Education Correspondent
‘Here is a simple account of the Cambridge Primary Review, which is essentially about awe and wonder: it is a formidable achievement.’ – Andrew Pollard, British Educational Research Journal
“This has to be the most important book in recent times for all those interested in primary education. The book and the accompanying volume of research papers provide a compelling synthesis of published educational research and findings that relate to the full range of issues encountered by everyone working with primary-aged children. It focuses on three core principles: equity, expertise and empowerment.” - Dame Alison Peacock, executive headteacher at The Wroxham School and TES columnist