Rethinking the Nature of Subject Studies in Primary Initial Teacher Education

British Journal of Educational Studies 43 (2):146 - 161 (1995)
Abstract
The publication of Circular 14/93 'Initial Training of Primary School Teachers' (DfE 1993) sees yet another attempt to redefine and control the objectives, methods, outcomes and location of initial teacher education. It implies changes in the role of subject studies in initial teacher education, although its prescriptions in this regard are elusive. The interpretation and implications of these changes for subject studies are the focus of this paper. It reviews the current role of subject studies in primary initial teacher education and outlines those elements of the Circular which will impact upon those roles. Inconsistencies in the Circular are identified. Critiques of the current role of subject studies are used to suggest how the generalised statements about levels of competence in the Circular can be expanded to redefine subject studies. The paper sets out the criteria subject studies will have to adopt to enact the expanded and more clearly defined roles required if they are to meet the objectives of the Circular. The paper specifically addresses the implications for subject studies courses of differentiated subject training for specialist and generalist primary school teachers.
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