In this provocative book, David McNamara looks at primary education as it struggles to create for itself a post-Plowden ideology. He argues first of all that a "teacher centred" approach to teaching in the primary school, especially in the later years, is actually in the best interests of the children. The teacher must be seen to have ultimate responsibility for what and how children learn and at the heart of the complex relation between teaching and learning is the subject matter of teaching defined in the broadest sense. The upshot of debates about teaching methods, matching, and curriculum organisation should be to focus upon the tasks provided for children so as to foster their learning. Secondly, McNamara tries to define the distinctive professional expertise of the primary teacher - the application of subject knowledge within the special circumstances of the classroom - and to show how this body of educational knowledge is both derived from practice and practically useful to others. At a time when primary education is at the top of the political agenda, this book takes a refreshingly unbiased look at the educational issues involved.
It will help teachers at all levels to define their own role in the creation of educational knowledge.