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Durham e-Theses
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Teacher expertise in the primary school: a survey of selected schools in two education authorities in the north east of England

Taylor, Christine Shinn (1987) Teacher expertise in the primary school: a survey of selected schools in two education authorities in the north east of England. Masters thesis, Durham University.



The purpose of this study is to examine the nature and deployment of teacher expertise in the primary school. The relevance of that expertise to primary school requirements is assessed in the light of pupil, teacher and curricula needs. A literature search revealed many definitions of the expertise which might be anticipated in the teaching personnel in primary education but, at the same time, produced a remarkable scarcity of teachers' opinions towards the debate on 'subject expertise’. It is this deficiency which this survey intends to redress. This investigation was undertaken in order to present an overview of current practice. Research procedures, involving questionnaire, interviews, documentary analyses, diaries and free-accounts, identify the sources and areas of teacher competencies and the modes of deployment of those talents. Informants' acknowledgements of their own areas of strength and weakness form a major component of the survey, as do their desires for organizational strategies which will either alleviate perceived weaknesses or capitalize on declared strengths. Elements raised in the literature review of Part I are empirically supported in the research findings of Part II. This is particularly evident when collected information indicates that human and financial resources and headteacher policies are crucial issues affecting the use of available teacher expertise, and when, from the collated data, two specific subjects emerge as giving serious cause for concern : music and science. These curricular areas are given more detailed reportage. This inquiry reinforces and extends existing research and concludes that a more flexible use of teacher expertise is both necessary and desirable for the provision of a balanced curriculum. Teacher preferences for fuller deployment of existing expertise, professional skills and a judicious mixture of all talents are firmly established.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1987
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:08 Feb 2013 13:44

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