In this series of pamphlets, leading specialists and practitioners write about educational issues of public concern. The quality of practice in education and the professionalism of teachers is the primary concern of the series. Underpinning the formulation of education policy and successful practice must be serious thinking and research evidence on a wide range of educational issues. As important is the contribution of practitioners reflecting on their own experiences. The London File draws on these intellectual resources and demonstrates their relevance to the classroom. The series reflects vigorous debate and a diversity of opinion.

Markets, Competition and Vulnerability
Some effects of recent legislation on children with special needs

Jennifer Evans and Ingrid Lunt

This brief study illustrates the potential for conflict between two great principles of educational change in recent years. On the one hand the Warnock Report and the 1981 Education Act provided a watershed in attitudes and practice towards pupils with special needs. On the other, the creation of a market system within education which has followed the 1988 Education Reform Act appears to threaten every advance made in SEN since Warnock.
The study provides a useful summary of the impact of the changes and focuses in particular on local management of schools. It seeks to address some urgent questions as to what the effects might be on the most vulnerable children in our society.
It examines:
And reports the results of four surveys, carried out annually by the authors since 1989, to gather data on the impact of local management of schools (LMS) and other aspects of recent legislation on provision for pupils with special educational needs.

ISBN 1 872767 71 0 paperback 35 pp £3.95


Changing literacies: Media education and modern culture
David Buckingham

'TV zombies', 'witless media dupes' or techno-whiz-kids? What will changing media technologies make of our children? David Buckingham argues that the proposal to remove media education from the National Curriculum for English ignores the central importance of the media in children's lives, and the rise of new forms of technologically inspired literacy. The children in our schools today must inhabit the media-oriented, technical, cultural and literary landscape of the twenty-first century. We must provide them with the competence to inhabit this landscape with ease.
ISBN 1 872767 61 3 28 pp paperback £3.95

Partnership in teacher training: Talk and chalk
Clare Hake

Learning on the job will not produce teachers who can reflect on, and so improve their practice. Clare Hake applauds the shift in emphasis to more school-based teacher training, but argues that university departments of education must continue to make a contribution to training. In the space created by a partnership between school and college, students can conduct 'an active and rational exploration of the task of teaching'. Using her own experience first as a mentor for trainee teachers in school, and later as a university curriculum tutor, Clare Hake illustrates the advantages of the partnership between school and college exemplified by the Oxford University teacher training scheme. School experience may be paramount but will be impoverished without the opportunity for reflection provided by such a partnership.
ISBN 1 872767 46 X 36 pp paperback £3.95

More has meant women: the feminisation of schooling
Jane Miller

'To an extent that is quite inadequately recognised, state education is provided by women; as is virtually all schooling, whether public or private, for young children.' Jane Miller argues that criticism of current educational practice often has gender as its hidden target. She draws on historical evidence and on her own teaching experience to develop a complex and provocative discussion.
ISBN 1 872767 21 4 31 pp paperback £3.95

A market-led alternative for the curriculum: Breaking the code
James Tooley

The National Curriculum is a national disaster. But the consensus seems to be that some kind of national curriculum is desirable. James Tooley challenges this consensus, arguing radically that curricula should be entrusted to the market. Reviewing the arguments for a national curriculum, he concludes that a cumbersome, costly, unreliable and unnecessary, national system should be abandoned and market forces allowed to operate. He considers that a market-led curriculum would be liberating, empowering and facilitate egalitarian ideas far better than any bureaucratised, centralised curriculum.
ISBN 1 872767 51 6 42 pp paperback £3.95

Education and the crisis in values: should we be philosophical about it?
Graham Haydon

'Education should seek to impart moral values'-what does this mean? Does society face a moral crisis? Does the increasingly public expression of a plurality of moral values signal a decline or an advance? How can we live with a plurality of values in society? Graham Haydon addresses these complex issues, arguing that philosophy can both help us to understand the current crisis in values and to deal with it. While philosophy may not provide teachers with a lifeline for survival in the classroom, philosophers just might prove to be swimming instructors. Philosophy need not be remote from popular understanding, and should be brought more fully into the training of teachers and into the curriculum of our children to provide this necessary support
ISBN 1 872767 56 7 25 pp paperback £3.95

What we know about effective primary teaching
Caroline Gipps

Caroline Gipps looks at the findings of research and educational theorists on what are the most effective classroom practices and teaching methods in the primary school. Primary teachers faced with the introduction of the National Curriculum and related assessment, and calls from government ministers and others to move back to more formal methods in the classroom, will find here much to stimulate an examination of their practice, as well as encouragement to see the value and potential of their work.
ISBN 1 872767 16 8 27 pp paperback out of print

Time to change the 1981 Education Act
Brahm Norwich

Brahm Norwich reviews the workings of the 1981 Education Act and how far the special education provision it was intended to enhance has been affected by the 1988 Education Act and subsequent developments. He argues for a reassessment of the definition of special educational need and for tightening the link between assessment of need and provision. Concern for the protection of provision on changing circumstances also prompts him to recommend that duties placed on local education authorities by the 1981 Act should be now extended to school governing bodies, and that parents should have the choice of a quicker form of decision making.
ISBN 1 872767 36 2 36 pp paperback £3.95

The promise and perils of educational comparison
Martin McLean

Can Britain's relatively poor economic performance be blamed on its inferior schools and teaching? Politicians in recent years have increasingly supported their proposals for educational reform with examples of practice in other countries. Against this background Martin McLean examines the uses and possible abuses of the discipline of comparative education. He illustrates his argument with many possible examples, concluding that the challenge to those who turn to other systems of education to find support for their arguments is whether they can let their thinking 'take in deeper and wider perspectives and whether they can accept the conclusions that emerge'.
ISBN 1 872767 31 1 40 pp paperback £3.95

National Curriculum science: So near and yet so far
Arthur Jennings

When the first proposals for the National Curriculum science were published in 1988 the goal of giving all pupils a broad and exciting experience of science seemed to be within reach. Arthur Jennings traces here the history of implementation and asks whether, under pressure of accommodating a workable system of assessment, that original goal has not been lost. Teachers will need to be vigilant, he urges, and carry parents and school governors with them, if they are to go beyond teaching 'to the tests' and achieve a real experience of science for all.
ISBN 1 872767 41 9 41 pp paperback £3.95

The aims of school history: The National Curriculum and beyond
Peter Lee, John Slater, Paddy Walsh and John White with a preface by Denis Shemilt

Why is it important to include history in the school curriculum? Is it because the subject (and its methodology) is so profoundly educative that it can be engaged in for its own sake? Or should the study of the past be harnessed to purposes such as preparation for democratic citizenship? These and other questions highlighted by the introduction of the National Curriculum are discussed here by historians and philosophers. The result is a lively and stimulating debate that has important implications for the future of school history.
ISBN 1 872767 26 5 55 pp paperback £4.50

The arts 5-16: Changing the agenda
John White

John White critically examines the central issues that underlie the National Curriculum Council's document The Arts 5-16: A curriculum framework. Education in the arts has lacked a coherent sense of purpose and whilst the NCC has tried to provide an integrated policy it has paid insufficient attention to the underlying aims of education in the arts. In addressing this problem John White presents a searching discussion of the purposes and underlying assumptions of education in the arts and their practical realisation. His concern is to ensure that the foundations for work in school in the arts are secure and defensible and above all will generate a love of art.
ISBN 1 872767 06 0 38 pp paperback £3.95

Music education and the National Curriculum
Keith Swanwick

Keith Swanwick discusses the evolution of music education in schools and critically examines the implications of the attainment targets in the National Curriculum. On the central question of music as knowledge he considers that the National Curriculum Working Group put a misplaced emphasis on factual information and quantity. Knowing about and understanding music is much more than processing factual information and any form of assessment must recognise qualitative awareness rather than acquisition of quantitative facts. Swanwick's improved criteria for assessment have in part been accepted by the Secretary of State for Education. In this strongly argued work Swanwick seeks to identify a way forward for music in the classroom that would secure the confidence of musicians and music educators.
ISBN 1 872767 11 7 33 pp paperback out of print

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