Holding them Back? The development of KS2 pedagogical theory through a comparative study of practice (year?)

Contact: Martin Ashley, Penelope Harnett, Malcolm Hughes and Alison Fletcher

Sponsor: UWE

This project extends previous work on teacher gender and boys' achievement which identified that teachers' subject knowledge was a more significant factor than teacher gender in pupil motivation. Boys, in particular, were found to be sensitive to teachers' subject knowledge in foundation subjects. Both boys and girls noticed and admired subject proficiency in teachers, but boys were more likely than girls to lose interest and motivation when teachers lacked subject knowledge. National Curriculum Years 5 and 6 are seen as particularly crucial because there are doubts about whether generalist teachers can have sufficient subject knowledge to motivate pupils across the whole curriculum. Holding them Back? is a comparative study of practice that focuses on the relationship between curriculum design and specialist as opposed to generalist teaching. Schools in maintained and independent sectors, including Steiner education, are being compared, and the methodology promotes the importance of pupil voice.

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