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Primary education is typically the first stage of
formal education Formal learning is education normally delivered by trained teachers in a systematic intentional way within a school A school is an educational institution designed to provide learning spaces and learning environments for the teaching of stu ...
, coming after
preschool A preschool, also known as nursery school, pre-primary school, or play school, is an educational establishment or learning space Learning space or learning setting refers to a physical setting for a learning environment, a place in whic ...
/
kindergarten Kindergarten (, ) is a preschool A preschool, also known as nursery school, pre-primary school, or play school, is an school, educational establishment or learning space offering early childhood education to children before they begin com ...

kindergarten
and before
secondary school A secondary school describes an institution that provides secondary education and also usually includes the building where this takes place. Some secondary schools provide both lower secondary education (ages 11 to 14) and upper secondary educat ...
. Primary education takes place in
primary school A primary school (in Ireland, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, and South Africa), junior school (in Australia), elementary school or grade school (in North America and the Philippines) is a school A school is ...

primary school
, the elementary school or first and middle school depending on the location. The
International Standard Classification of Education The International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) is a statistical framework for organizing information on education Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, value (ethics), v ...
considers primary education as a single-phase where programmes are typically designed to provide fundamental reading, writing, and mathematics skills and establish a solid foundation for learning. This is
ISCED Level 1
ISCED Level 1
: Primary education or first stage of basic education.Annex III in the ISCED 2011 English.pdf
Navigate to International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED)


Definition

The ISCED definition in 1997 posited that primary education normally started between the ages of 5 – 8 and was designed to give a sound basic education in reading, writing, and mathematics along with an elementary understanding of other subjects. By 2011 the philosophy had changed, the ''elementary understanding of other subjects'' had been dropped in favour of "''to establish a solid foundation for learning''". The
United Nations Children's Fund UNICEF, also known as the United Nations Children's Fund, is a United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization that aims to maintain international peace and international security, security, develop friendly ...
(UNICEF), believes that providing children with primary education has many positive effects. It: * Decreases poverty * Decreases
child mortality Child mortality is the mortality of child Biologically, a child (plural children) is a human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessn ...

child mortality
rates * Encourages
gender equality Gender equality, also known as sexual equality or equality of the sexes, is the state of equal ease of access to resources and opportunities regardless of gender, including economic participation and decision-making; and the state of valuing d ...

gender equality
* Increases environmental understanding The ages cited cover a rapidly developing phase of child development. This is studied in the discipline of
developmental psychology Developmental psychology is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and organizes knowledge in the form of Testability, testable explanations and predictions about the universe."... modern ...
, which attempts to describe how children learn. In the United Kingdom, reception, the first year of primary school, is part of the
Early Years Foundation Stage The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is the statutory framework for Early Years education in England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west a ...
. The
philosophy of education The philosophy of education examines the goals, forms, methods, and meaning of education. The term is used to describe both fundamental philosophical analysis of these themes and the description or analysis of particular pedagogical approaches. Co ...
—teaching and learning—has, over the millennia, occupied many great minds. It attempts to say what children should be taught.


History

In pre-agrarian cultures, children learnt by following their instinct to play. There was no need for enforced education. In agrarian cultures, agriculture, husbandry, bartering, and building skills can be passed on from adults to children or master to apprentice. Societies agree on the need for their children to learn and absorb their cultural traditions and beliefs. They attempt to do this informally in the family or by gathering the children together and employing a tutor to handle the task. This worked well for the landowners, but the children of the landless would be employed from the age of seven as servants. In one source from the turn of the 15th century, a French count advised that nobles' huntsmen should "choose a boy servant as young as seven or eight" and that "...this boy should be beaten until he has a proper dread of failing to carry out his masters orders." The document listed chores that the boy would perform daily and that the boy would sleep in a loft above the kennels to attend to the hounds' needs. Religious communities became providers of education and defined the curriculum. Learning to recite passages from their holy text is a priority. For their society to advance, the oral tradition must be superseded by written texts; some students must write down the passages. Monasteries students needed to read out what is written in the religious language and not just the vernacular. This led to formal education in madrassas and schools. Martin Luther declared that salvation depends on each person's own reading of the Scriptures. Trading and management create a demand for accountancy. Basic skills thus included literacy and numeracy. This was the core of Elementary Education.


Formal primary education

In mid 17th century America, Massachusetts became the first colony to mandate schooling for this purpose. Beginning in 1690, children there and adjacent colonies learned to read from the
New England Primer ''The New England Primer'' was the first reading primer designed for the American Colonies. It became the most successful educational textbook A textbook is a book containing a comprehensive compilation of content in a branch of study with t ...
, known colloquially as "The Little Bible of New England" In England, 1870 was the beginning of compulsory state education. Elementary schools in England and Wales were publicly funded schools which provided a basic standard of education for children aged from six to 14 between 1870 and 1944. These were set up to enable children to receive manual training and elementary instruction and provided a restricted curriculum with the emphasis on
reading Reading is the process of taking in the sense or meaning of letters, symbols, ''etc.'', especially by sight or touch. For educators and researchers, reading is a multifaceted process involving such areas as word recognition, orthography An ...
,
writing Writing is a medium of human communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area arou ...

writing
and
arithmetic Arithmetic (from the Ancient Greek, Greek wikt:en:ἀριθμός#Ancient Greek, ἀριθμός ''arithmos'', 'number' and wikt:en:τική#Ancient Greek, τική wikt:en:τέχνη#Ancient Greek, έχνη ''tiké échne', 'art' or 'cr ...
(
the three Rs The three Rs (as in the letter ''R'') are three basic skills taught in schools: Reading (process), reading, Writing, writing and arithmetic, arithmetic (usually said as "reading, writing, and 'rithmetic"). The phrase appears to have been coined a ...
). The schools operated on a
monitorial systemThe Monitorial System, Madras System, or Lancasterian System was an education Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, value (ethics), values, morals, beliefs, and habits. Educational me ...
, whereby one teacher supervised a large class with the assistance of a team of monitors, who were quite often older pupils. Elementary school teachers were paid based on students' results. Their pupils were expected to achieve precise standards in reading, writing and arithmetic such as reading a short paragraph in a newspaper, writing from dictation, and working out sums and fractions.Gillard D
"Towards a State System of Education"
In: ''Education in England'', 2011 http://www.educationengland.org.uk, accessed 20 November 2013.
To achieve this, a dual education system was initiated consisting of both voluntary denominational schools and non-denominational state schools (Board schools) to supplement rather than replace schools already run by the churches, guilds, and private individuals or organisations. Before 1944 around 80 percent of the school population attended elementary schools through to 14. The remainder transferred either to secondary school or junior technical school at age 11. The school system was changed with the
Education Act 1944 The Education Act 1944 (7 and 8 Geo 6 c. 31) made major changes in the provision and governance of secondary schools in England and Wales. It is also known as the "Butler Act" after the President of the Board of Education The Secretary of St ...
. Education was restructured into three progressive stages, which were known as primary education,
secondary education Secondary education covers two phases on the International Standard Classification of Education The International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) is a statistical framework for organizing information on education Education i ...
and
further education Further education (often abbreviated FE) in the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a s ...
.


Timeline of the 20th century English Education

* 1912 -
Maria Montessori Maria Tecla Artemisia Montessori ( , ; August 31, 1870 – May 6, 1952) was an Italian physician and educator best known for the philosophy of education that bears her name, and her writing on scientific pedagogy Pedagogy (), most commonly und ...

Maria Montessori
publishes The Montessori Method * 1915 - John and Evelyn Dewey publish School of Tomorrow. * 1918 -
Education Act 1918 Education Act 1918 (8 & 9 Geo. V c. 39), often known as the Fisher Act, is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the Parliamentary sovereignty in the United Kingdom, supreme Legislature, legis ...
ends all fees for elementary education and raises school leaving age from 12 to 14. * 1919 - The
Burnham CommitteeThe Burnham committee – properly the Burnham Primary and Secondary and Burnham Further Education Committees – was responsible for setting teachers' pay in the United Kingdom. The committees were established by H. A. L. Fisher in 1919 when he was ...
introduces national pay scales for elementary teachers. * * 1923 - publishes The Language and Thought of the Child. :
A S Neill Alexander Sutherland Neill (17 October 1883 – 23 September 1973) was a Scottish educator and author known for his school, SummerhillSummerhill or Summer Hill may refer to the following places: Australia *Summer Hill, New South Wales, a suburb ...
’s opens
SummerhillSummerhill or Summer Hill may refer to the following places: Australia *Summer Hill, New South Wales, a suburb of Sydney *Summerhill, Tasmania, a suburb of Launceston *Summerhill (Mount Duneed), a prefabricated iron cottage in Victoria Canada *Sum ...
* 1944 - Elementary education split by age into Primary and Secondary. A tripartite system with an eleven plus. * 1955 - The last gas lamps are removed from London schools * 1957 - Britain's first school TV was broadcast by Associated Rediffusion in May, * 1958 - BBC schools TV broadcasting : A S Neill's Summerhill published. * 1963 - London and Manchester end 11-plus. * 1967 - The
Plowden ReportThe Plowden Report is the unofficial name for the 1967 report of the Central Advisory Council For Education (England) into Primary education in England. The report, entitled ''Children and their Primary Schools'', reviewed primary education in a who ...
advocates the expansion of nursery schooling. * 1968 - The Newsom Report on public schools calls for integration with state schools.


Child development during the primary education phase

Jean Piaget Jean Piaget (, , ; 9 August 1896 – 16 September 1980) was a Swiss Swiss may refer to: * the adjectival form of Switzerland *Swiss people Places *Swiss, Missouri *Swiss, North Carolina *Swiss, West Virginia *Swiss, Wisconsin Other uses *Swiss ...

Jean Piaget
was responsible for establishing the framework that describes the intellectual, moral and emotional development of children. He received a doctorate in 1918 and did post-doctoral research in Zürich and Paris. His thoughts developed in four phases: # the sociological model of development- where children moved from a position of
egocentrism Egocentrism is the inability to differentiate between self and other. More specifically, it is the inability to accurately assume or understand any perspective other than one's own. Although egocentric behaviors are less prominent in adulthood, ...
to sociocentrism. he noticed there was a gradual progression from intuitive to scientific and then socially acceptable responses. # the biological model of intellectual development -this could be regarded as an extension of the biological process of the
adaptation In , adaptation has three related meanings. Firstly, it is the dynamic evolutionary process that fits s to their environment, enhancing their . Secondly, it is a state reached by the population during that process. Thirdly, it is a or adapti ...

adaptation
of the species, showing two ongoing processes: assimilation and accommodation. # the elaboration of the logical model of intellectual development, where he argued that intelligence develops in a series of stages related to age and are progressive because one stage must be accomplished before the next can occur. For each stage of development, the child forms an age-related view of reality. # the study of figurative thought- this included memory and perception. Piaget's theory is based upon biological maturation and
stages Stage or stages may refer to: Acting * Stage (theatre) In theatre and performing arts, the stage (sometimes referred to as the deck in stagecraft) is a designated space for the performance of theatrical production, productions. The stage s ...
; the notion of readiness is important. Information or concepts should be taught when the students have reached the appropriate stage of cognitive development and not before. Using this framework, the child's staged development can be examined. Lev Vygotsky's theoryYasnitsky, A. (2018
Vygotsky: An Intellectual Biography
London and New York: Routledg
BOOK PREVIEW
/ref> is based on social learning, where a MKO (a more knowledgeable other) helps them progress within their ZPD (
zone of proximal development The zone of proximal development (ZPD) is the distance between what a learner is not currently capable of doing unsupported, and what they can do unsupported. It is the range where they are capable only with support from someone with more knowledge ...

zone of proximal development
). Within the ZPD, there are skills that the child could do but needs to be shown to move from yearning to independent proficiency. The assistance or instruction becomes a form of
Instructional scaffolding Instructional scaffolding is the support given to a student by an instructor throughout the learning process. This support is specifically tailored to each student; this instructional approach allows students to experience student-centered learning, ...
; this term and idea was developed by
Jerome Bruner Jerome Seymour Bruner (October 1, 1915 – June 5, 2016) was an American psychologist A psychologist is a person who studies normal and abnormal mental states, perceptual, cognitive, emotional, and social processes and behavior by experimentin ...
, David Wood, and Gail Ross.''Zone of Proximal Development'' and ''Cultural Tools Scaffolding, Guided Participation'', 2006. In ''Key concepts in developmental psychology.'' Retrieved from Credo Reference Database These are in the realms of the: * Intellectual * Physical * Learning skills * Language * Emotional


International interpretations


Millennium Development Goals

The
United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization aiming to maintain international peace and international security, security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and be a centre for harm ...

United Nations
Millennium Development Goal 2 (2002) was to achieve universal primary education by the year 2015. By that time, they aimed to ensure that all children everywhere, regardless of race or gender, could complete primary schooling. Because the United Nations specifically focused on
Sub-Saharan Africa Sub-Saharan Africa (commonly called Black Africa) is, geographically, the area of the continent of Africa that lies south of the Sahara. According to the United Nations, it consists of all list of sovereign states and dependent territories i ...

Sub-Saharan Africa
and
South Asia South Asia is the southern region of Asia Asia () is 's largest and most populous , located primarily in the and . It shares the continental of with the continent of and the continental landmass of with both Europe and . Asia cov ...

South Asia
, as they are both home to the vast majority of children out of school, they hypothesized that they might not have been able to reach their goal by 2015. According to the September 2010 fact sheet, this was because there were still about 69 million school-age children who were not in school with almost half of the demographic in sub-Saharan Africa and more than a quarter in Southern Asia. In order to achieve the goal by 2015, the United Nations estimated that all children at the official entry age for primary school would have had to have been attending classes by 2009. This would depend upon the duration of the primary level and how well the schools retain students until the end of the cycle. Not only was it important for children to be enrolled in education, but countries would have to ensure that there were a sufficient number of teachers and classrooms to meet the demand. As of 2010, the number of new teachers needed in sub-Saharan Africa alone, equaled the extant teaching force in the region. The gender gap for children not in education narrowed. Between 1999 and 2008, the number of girls not in education worldwide had decreased from 57 percent to 53 percent. However, in some regions, the percentage had increased. According to the United Nations, many things in the regions have already been accomplished. Although enrollment in the sub-Saharan area of Africa continues to be the lowest region worldwide, by 2010, "it still increased by 18 percentage points—from 58 percent to 76 percent—between 1999 and 2008." There was also progress in Southern Asia and North Africa, where both areas saw an increase in enrollment. For example, In Southern Asia, this had increased by 11 percent and in North Africa by 8 percent- over the last decade. Major advances had been made even in the poorest countries, like the abolition of primary school fees in
Burundi Burundi (, ), officially the Republic of Burundi ( rn, Repubulika y’u Burundi, ; Swahili: Jamuhuri ya Burundi; french: link=no, République du Burundi, or ), is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is ...

Burundi
where there was an increase in primary-school enrollment, which reached 99 percent as of 2008. Also,
Tanzania Tanzania (; ), officially the United Republic of Tanzania ( sw, Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania), is a country in East Africa East Africa or Eastern Africa is the eastern subregion of the Africa Africa is the world's second-larges ...

Tanzania
experienced a similar outcome. The country doubled its enrollment ratio over the same period. Moreover, other regions in Latin America such as
Guatemala Guatemala ( ; ), officially the Republic of Guatemala ( es, República de Guatemala, links=no), is a country in Central America Central America ( es, América Central, , ''Centroamérica'' ) is a region of the Americas The Am ...

Guatemala
and
Nicaragua Nicaragua (; ), officially the Republic of Nicaragua (), is the largest Sovereign state, country in the Central American isthmus, bordered by Honduras to the northwest, the Caribbean Sea, Caribbean to the east, Costa Rica to the south, and th ...

Nicaragua
, and
Zambia Zambia (), officially the Republic of Zambia ( Bemba:'' Icalo ca Zambia''; Tonga Tonga (, ), officially named the Kingdom of Tonga ( to, Puleʻanga Fakatuʻi ʻo Tonga), is a Polynesia Polynesia (, ; from grc, πολύς "many" ...

Zambia
in Southern Africa "broke through the 90 percent towards greater access to primary education."


Promoting the rule of law in primary education

School A school is an educational institution An educational institution is a place where people of different ages gain an education, including preschools, childcare, primary-elementary schools, secondary-high schools, and universities. They p ...

School
s play an important role in children's socialization and in developing their appreciation of
sharing Reptiles sharing space Sharing is the joint use of a resource or space. It is also the process of dividing and distributing. In its narrow sense, it refers to joint or alternating use of inherently finite goods, such as a common pasture Pa ...

sharing
, fairness, mutual
respect Respect, also called esteem, is a positive feeling or action shown towards someone or something considered important or held in high esteem or regard. It conveys a sense of admiration for good or valuable qualities. It is also the process of ho ...

respect
and cooperation. Schools form the foundational values and competencies that are the building blocks towards the understanding of concepts such as
justice Justice, in its broadest sense, is the principle that people receive that which they deserve, with the interpretation of what then constitutes "deserving" being impacted upon by numerous fields, with many differing viewpoints and perspectives, ...

justice
,
democracy Democracy ( gr, δημοκρατία, ''dēmokratiā'', from ''dēmos'' 'people' and ''kratos'' 'rule') is a form of government in which people, the people have the authority to deliberate and decide legislation ("direct democracy"), or to cho ...

democracy
and
human rights Human rights are moral A moral (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. ...
. Education systems that promote education for justice, that is, respect for the
rule of law The rule of law is defined in the ''Oxford English Dictionary The ''Oxford English Dictionary'' (''OED'') is the principal of the , published by (OUP). It traces the historical development of the English language, providing a compreh ...

rule of law
(RoL) together with international human rights and fundamental freedoms strengthen the relationship between learners and public institutions to empower young people to become champions of peace and justice. Teachers are often on the front line of this work and, along with families, play a formative role in shaping children's attitudes and behaviours.
Global citizenship educationGlobal citizenship education (GCED) is a form of civic learning that involves students' active participation in projects that address global issues of a social, political, economic, or environmental nature. The two main elements of GCE are ' global ...
provides the overall framework for the approach to the RoL. It aims to empower learners to engage and assume active roles, both locally and globally, as proactive contributors to a more just, peaceful, tolerant, inclusive, secure, and
sustainable Sustainability is the capacity to endure in a relatively ongoing way across various domains of life. In the 21st century The 21st (twenty-first) century is the current century in the '' Anno Domini'' era or Common Era, in accordance with the ...

sustainable
world.


See also

*
Secondary education Secondary education covers two phases on the International Standard Classification of Education The International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) is a statistical framework for organizing information on education Education i ...
*
Education Index An Education index is found as a component of the Human Development Index published every year by the United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization that aims to maintain international peace and international ...
*
List of education articles by country This is a list of articles on education Education is the process of facilitating , or the acquisition of , s, , morals, s, s, and personal development. Educational methods include , , , and directed . Education frequently takes place und ...
*
List of schools by country This is a list of lists of school A school is an educational institution An educational institution is a place where people of different ages gain an education, including preschools, childcare, primary-elementary schools, secondary-high ...
* ''
The New England Primer ''The New England Primer'' was the first reading Reading is the process of taking in the sense or meaning of letters, symbols, etc., especially by sight or touch. For educators and researchers, reading is a multifaceted process involving suc ...
'' 1620–1720


Explanatory notes


References


Source attribution


General bibliography

* ''India 2009: A Reference Annual'' (53rd edition), New Delhi: Additional Director General (ADG), Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. *


External links


National Association for Primary Education (UK)

Teachers TV Free Resources and Downloads for Primary School Teachers

BBC schools website 4-11

Teach.com Information for Elementary School Teachers in the U.S.
* A view from the United States in 1920. {{DEFAULTSORT:Primary Education