Publication details for Dr Sue BevertonBeverton, S. (2001). Whatever Happened to Primary English Knowledge and Understanding? Evaluation & Research in Education 15(3): 128-35.
- Publication type: Journal papers: academic
Author(s) from Durham
A rather particular set of problems has characterised the question of primary English subject knowledge and understanding. True, the definition of the English subject understanding that primary pupils should acquire has long been problematic. However, what primary teachers should know and understand about the English language in order to teach it has been the prior worry. Consequently, what, if any, knowledge about language primary pupils should understand in order to learn the English they are taught has also been at the centre of long debates. These debates have added to deep uncertainties about how primary English as a subject should be defined and what its purpose is. The present paper begins by summarising chronologically the main issues in these uncertainties. The paper then looks at what English subject knowledge teachers have been considered over time as needing to know. The paper concludes that compred with other curricular subjects primary English is a special case: it is a nebulous subject that has long been prey to socio-political forces. Consequently teachers need to redefine their professional understanding of the subject.
Summarizes in chronological order the main issues that have been considered in defining primary English (elementary school English) in the United Kingdom as a subject. Discusses the English subject knowledge considered necessary, over time, for teachers to know. Concludes that primary English, when compared with other subjects, is a special case: its a nebulous subject long prey to sociopolitical forces. (Author/SLD)