AE5019 - From Elementary Schooling to 'Good Primary Practice' (2020/21)
|Module specification||Module approved to run in 2020/21|
|Module title||From Elementary Schooling to 'Good Primary Practice'|
|Module level||Intermediate (05)|
|Credit rating for module||30|
|School||School of Social Professions|
|Total study hours||300|
|Running in 2020/21||
The module aims:
• To offer students opportunities to understand primary education through historical themes of continuity, change and difference;
• To demonstrate the historical nature of the primary school as a commonplace phenomenon in the 21st century and thereby to suggest that it will be subject to change in the future;
• To propose a social constructionist understanding of schooling and educational institutions;
• To explore the language of pedagogical practice in relation to the goals of education and the meaning of childhood;
• To identify curriculum, pedagogy and practice as the focus for debate.
The module will address the following topics and themes:
• Precursors to the 1870 Elementary Education Act and their contribution to mass education and schooling;
• The historicality of educational provision and its relation to processes of continuity and change;
• Landmark legislation for schooling, social welfare and its constructions of the child and childhood;
• The impacts of psychology, developmentalism, ‘new’ pedagogic theories and concerns over social welfare found in McMillan, Freud, Isaacs, Piaget, Dewey, Hadow, Plowden et al on the construction and meaning of ‘good primary practice’;
• Standards, new curricula and strategic pedagogies;
• ‘race’, culture, gender, social class and difference in the primary classroom;
• Parents, governors, the market and the decline of local authority control;
• Responses to child poverty and austerity;
• Performance and international comparisons;
• The future of primary education.
The module will make full use of the built environment, museums, archives and other resources to support students’ learning and will introduce students to the use of artefacts and material contexts.
Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity
Learning and teaching will be transacted through a blended pedagogy with an emphasis on workshop and collaborative learning in formal scheduled sessions as well as lectures and guided thematic seminars as appropriate.
At the end of the module students will:
1. Be able to identify and articulate links between educational theory, policy, legislation and institutional practice;
2. Describe the factors that combined to construct primary education from the elementary school tradition;
3. Identify and account for the challenges faced by traditional ‘good primary practice’ and recognise that they are situated within an environment of continual change;
4. Outline a personal pedagogical position drawing on the examples and evidence explored in the module.
Taking an historical approach, students are asked to explore the emergence of Primary Education through four snapshots focusing on the lives and experience of imagined or real pupils aged 9 years and at school circa: 1875, 1925, 1975, and 2025. They are asked to draw on the historical narrative presented across the lectures and seminars and expand upon this through the use of artefacts, visual media, documentary sources, published histories, oral history and testament. This will be supported and informed by use of museums, archives and other appropriate resources.
Each snapshot is marked as a single item and formative feedback offered at each stage. The first three snapshots together with snapshot four are presented (unaltered) in portfolio form with short reflection on what historical study contributes to professional understanding.
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Jones, K., (2015), Education in Britain: 1944 to the present, London: Polity
Maguire, M., Wooldridge, T. and Pratt-Adams, S., (2006), The Urban Primary School, Maidenhead: Open University Press
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Carroll, M. and McCulloch, M., (2014), Understanding Teaching and Learning in Primary Education, London: Sage
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