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.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: The Purpose of Education: The Purpose of Primary Education
Chapter 2: Intimations of Utopia: Values, Sustaining Environments and the Flourishing of Children and Teachers
Chapter 3: Reconceptualising Teacher Identity
Chapter 4: Fundamental British Values: Are They Fundamental?
Chapter 5: What is Effective Pedagogy in the Reception Year?
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
Chapter 8: The Arts as Handmaiden
Hermione Ruck Keene
Chapter 9: The Place of Foreign Languages in the Primary School
Chapter 10: Promoting a Bilingual Approach in the Primary Classroom
Chapter 11: Debates in Primary Science Education
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
Chapter 15: The Teaching and Learning of Primary Mathematics
Chapter 16: Debates in the Teaching of Primary Physical Education
Chapter 17: Teachers as Readers and Writers
Chapter 18: Teaching Poetry Within an Accountability Culture
Chapter 19: ‘The Needs of the Many Outweigh the Needs of the Few’: Support for Children with SEND in Times of Austerity
Chapter 20: Leading the Way
Virginia Bower is currently a Senior Lecturer at Canterbury Christ Church University and an Associate Lecturer with The Open University.