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.
ISBN 1 872767 71 0 paperback 35 pp £3.95
'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
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
'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
ISBN 1 872767 21 4 31 pp paperback £3.95
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 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
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
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
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
ISBN 1 872767 31 1 40 pp paperback £3.95
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
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
ISBN 1 872767 26 5 55 pp paperback £4.50
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
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