Should we have more specialist teachers in primary schools? 

Filling the pail

Australian researcher Ben Jensen heads an organisation called, ‘Learning First’.Jacqueline Magee of Learning First recently publisheda blog postdrawing attention to a Learning First report and its call for greater subject specialisation by Australian primary school teachers.

This is clearly a sound idea.

To some people, the case for non-specialist primary teaching may be strong. There are two main reasons for sticking with a generalist approach, the most compelling of which is the idea that young children need a key point of contact at school who comes to know each child very well. I agree that this is important. However, a child can still have most of his or her lessons with a particular teacher in a primary school that adopts some specialisation. My own experience suggests that children are more adaptable than we might presume, although I can imagine that it will be a challengefor some students.


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