The changing face of the teaching profession

Eyres, Ian and Hancock, R. (2004). The changing face of the teaching profession. BBC.



Primary school teachers can only look back in amazement at the changes of the past 30 years. In the 60s and 70s, the prevailing educational philosophy entailed a child-centred curriculum, where the boundaries of academic subjects and timetables could be blurred by project work and the integrated day. Much store was set by children's learning through 'doing', and enjoyment was considered an important motivator. Tests for selective schools (the 11 plus) were widely rejected as unreliable and unfair and the detail of the curriculum was decided locally, by local education authorities, schools and individual teachers; education was 'a national service, locally administered' and teachers were trusted to ensure children learnt the right things at the right time. Today, the survivors from that era are teaching in schools where every hour is tightly controlled via a detailed curriculum based on traditional school subjects and driven by testing and school league tables.

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