1st Edition

Debates in Primary Education

Edited By Virginia Bower Copyright 2021
    316 Pages
    by Routledge

    316 Pages
    by Routledge

    This powerful text encourages both pre-service and established teachers, as well as teacher educators, to engage with contemporary debates in primary education. Promoting a critical approach, the chapters explore a wide range of key themes including the importance of values in primary education and the imperative for a curriculum which embraces the whole range of available subjects. At the same time, the chapters are underpinned by a belief that children should be at the heart of all the decisions we make and that primary education should inspire a love of learning, for life.

    The book aims to support practitioners to make informed judgements and feel confident to argue their point of view with deeper theoretical knowledge and understanding, thus increasing teacher agency and confidence in responding to complex educational and social dilemmas such as literacy levels and rising mental health concerns. Chapters encompass both the macro aspects of primary education and more specialised debates on key topics such as reading, mathematics, languages, early years education and the use of technology.

    With annotated further reading and reflective questions, this key text is essential reading for all those wanting to develop a better understanding of the issues that shape their practice including student teachers at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, practising teachers engaged in continuing professional development and teacher educators.


    Virginia Bower

    Chapter 1: The Purpose of Education: The Purpose of Primary Education

    Virginia Bower

    Chapter 2: Intimations of Utopia: Values, Sustaining Environments and the Flourishing of Children and Teachers

    Jonathan Barnes

    Chapter 3: Reconceptualising Teacher Identity

    Paula Stone

    Chapter 4: Fundamental British Values: Are They Fundamental?

    Imran Mogra

    Chapter 5: What is Effective Pedagogy in the Reception Year?

    Zoe Lewis

    Chapter 6: Exploring how Early Years Settings Might Promote High Quality Communication and Language Opportunities Through Community-Based Projects

    Vanessa Sawyer and Megan Stephenson

    Chapter 7: Teaching Early Reading: The Phonics Debate

    Rebecca Austin

    Chapter 8: The Arts as Handmaiden

    Hermione Ruck Keene

    Chapter 9: The Place of Foreign Languages in the Primary School

    Louise Pagden

    Chapter 10: Promoting a Bilingual Approach in the Primary Classroom

    Virginia Bower

    Chapter 11: Debates in Primary Science Education

    Leigh Hoath

    Chapter 12: Religious Education – What is it Trying to Do?

    Rhiannon Love and Alasdair Richardson

    Chapter 13: Geography and History – A Sense of Time and Place

    Wendy Garner and Tony Pickford

    Chapter 14: Using Digital Strategies for Primary Learning

    Lee Hazeldine

    Chapter 15: The Teaching and Learning of Primary Mathematics

    Gina Donaldson

    Chapter 16: Debates in the Teaching of Primary Physical Education

    Julia Lawrence

    Chapter 17: Teachers as Readers and Writers

    Teresa Cremin

    Chapter 18: Teaching Poetry Within an Accountability Culture

    Andrew Lambirth

    Chapter 19: ‘The Needs of the Many Outweigh the Needs of the Few’: Support for Children with SEND in Times of Austerity

    Andy Bloor

    Chapter 20: Leading the Way

    Catherine Carden


    Virginia Bower is currently a Senior Lecturer at Canterbury Christ Church University and an Associate Lecturer with The Open University.