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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, higher education or university. It is one of three forms of learning as defined by the OECD, the others being informal learning, wh ...
, coming after
preschool A preschool, also known as nursery school, pre-primary school, kindergarten, or play school, is an educational establishment or learning space offering early childhood education to children before they begin compulsory education at primary sch ...
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 (age 12 to 15) and upper secondary education ...
. Primary education takes place in
primary school A primary school (in Ireland, the UK & Australia), junior school (in Australia), elementary school or grade school (in the US & Canada) is a school for primary education of children who are four to eleven years of age (and sometimes up to t ...
, 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 maintained by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). It is a member of the int ...
considers primary education as a single-phase where programmes are typically designed to provide fundamental skills in reading, writing and mathematics and to establish a solid foundation for learning. This is 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 greatly known as the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund, is a United Nations agency responsible for providing humanitarian and developmental aid to children worldwide. The agency is among the most widespread and ...
(UNICEF), believes that providing children with primary education has many positive effects. It * Decreases poverty * Decreases
child mortality Child mortality is the mortality of children under the age of five. The child mortality rate, also under-five mortality rate, refers to the probability of dying between birth and exactly five years of age expressed per 1,000 live births. It enco ...
rates * Encouraging
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 di ...

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 study of how and why human beings change over the course of their life. Originally concerned with infants and children, the field has expanded to include adolescence, adult development, aging, and the ...
, which among other things attempts to describe how children learn. In Great Britain, reception, the first year of primary school, is part of the Early Year Foundation Stage. 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 ...
, of 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, the skills of 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 and they attempt to do this informally in the family, or by gathering the children together and employing one adult to handle the task, a tutor. 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 in order to attend to the hounds' needs. Religious communities become 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 go on and 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 published in 17th century colonial United States and it became the foundation of most schooling before 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 (spelling) ...
,
writing Writing is a medium of human communication that involves the representation of a language with written symbols. Writing systems are not themselves human languages (with the debatable exception of computer languages); they are means of renderin ...
and
arithmetic Arithmetic (from the Greek ἀριθμός ''arithmos'', 'number' and τική έχνη ''tiké échne', 'art' or 'craft') is a branch of mathematics that consists of the study of numbers, especially the properties of the traditional operations o ...
(
the three Rs The three Rs (as in the letter ''R'') are three basic skills taught in schools: reading, writing and arithmetic (usually said as "''reading, writing, and 'rithmetic''"). The phrase appears to have been coined at the beginning of the 19th century. ...
). The schools operated on a
monitorial systemThe Monitorial System, Madras System, or Lancasterian System was an education method that took hold during the early 19th century, because of Spanish, French, and English colonial education that was imposed into the areas of expansion. This method wa ...
, 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 by 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 per cent of the school population attended elementary schools through to the age of 14. The remainder transferred either to secondary school or junior technical school at age 11. The school system was changed with the introduction of 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, R. A. Butler. Historians c ...
. Education was restructured into three progressive stages which were known as primary education,
secondary education#REDIRECT Secondary education#REDIRECT Secondary education {{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
and
further education Further education (often abbreviated FE) in the United Kingdom and Ireland is education in addition to that received at secondary school, that is distinct from the higher education (HE) offered in universities and other academic institutions. It ...
.


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. At an early age, Montessori enro ...
publishes The Montessori Method * 1915 - John and Evelyn Dewey publish
School of Tomorrow Accelerated Christian Education is an American company which produces the Accelerated Christian Education (ACE, styled by the company as A.C.E.) school curriculum structured around a literal interpretation of the Bible and which teaches other acad ...
. * 1918 - Fisher Education Act ends all fees for elementary education and raises school leaving age from 12 to 14. * 1919 - The Burnham Committee introduces national pay scales for elementary teachers. * * 1923 -
Piaget
Piaget
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, Summerhill, and its philosophy of freedom from adult coercion and community self-governance. Raised in Scotland, Neill tau ...
’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. Tripartite system with an eleven plus. * 1955 - The last gas lamps are removed from London schools * 1957 - Britain’s first school TV are 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 whol ...
advocates expansion of nursery schooling. * 1968 - The
Newsom ReportThe Newsom Report of 1963 was a United Kingdom government report, which looked at the education of average and below average children. Entitled ''"Half our Future"'' the report argued that the future of the country depended on better education for th ...
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 psychologist known for his work on child development. Piaget's theory of cognitive development and epistemological view are together called "genetic epistemology". Piaget placed ...

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, th ...
to
sociocentrism Ethnocentrism in social science and anthropology—as well as in colloquial English discourse—means to apply one's own culture or ethnicity as a frame of reference to judge other cultures, practices, behaviors, beliefs, and people, instead of ...
. 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 biology, adaptation has three related meanings. Firstly, it is the dynamic evolutionary process that fits organisms to their environment, enhancing their evolutionary fitness. Secondly, it is a state reached by the population during that pr ...
of the species, showing two on-going processes: assimilation and accommodation. # the elaboration of the logical model of intellectual development, where he argued that intelligence develops in a series of stages that are 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), a space for the performance of theatrical productions * Theatre, a branch of the performing arts, often referred to as "the stage" * ''The Stage'', a weekly British theatre newspaper * Stage ...
; 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) (''zona blizhaishego razvitiia'', in original Russian), is best understood as the zone of the closest, most immediate psychological development of learners that includes a wide range of their emotional, cogniti ...

zone of proximal development
). Within the ZPD there are skills that the child potentially could do but needs to be shown so they can 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 who made significant contributions to human cognitive psychology and cognitive learning theory in educational psychology. Bruner was a senior research fellow at t ...
, 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 that aims to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and be a centre for harmonizing the actions of ...
Millennium Development Goal 2 (2002) was to achieve
universal primary education#REDIRECT Universal Primary Education {{R from other capitalisation ...
by the year 2015, by which time their aim was to ensure that all children everywhere, regardless of race or gender, will be able to complete primary schooling. Due to the fact that the United Nations specifically focused on
Sub-Saharan Africa Sub-Saharan Africa is, geographically and ethnoculturally, the area of the continent of Africa that lies south of the Sahara. According to the United Nations, it consists of all African countries and territories that are fully or partially so ...
and
South Asia South Asia is the southern region of Asia, which is defined in both geographical and ethno-cultural terms. The region consists of the countries of Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, the Maldives, and Sri Lanka.;;;;;;;; Top ...

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, as well as 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, but in some regions, the percentage had increased. According to the United Nations, there are many things in the regions that 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 both 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 of 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 in the Great Rift Valley where the African Great Lakes regio ...
where there was an increase in primary-school enrollment which reached 99 percent as of 2008. Also,
Tanzania Tanzania (;This approximates the Kiswahili pronunciation. However, is also heard in English. ), officially the United Republic of Tanzania ( sw, Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania), is a country in East Africa within the African Great Lakes regio ...
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 bordered by Mexico to the north and west, Belize and the Caribbean to the northeast, Honduras to the east, El Salvad ...
and
Nicaragua Nicaragua (; ), officially the Republic of Nicaragua (), is the largest country in the Central American isthmus, bordered by Honduras to the northwest, the Caribbean to the east, Costa Rica to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the southwest. ...
, and
Zambia Zambia (), officially the Republic of Zambia (Tonga: ''Cisi ca Zambia''; Nyanja: ''Dziko la Zambia''), is a landlocked country at the crossroads of Central, Southern and East Africa. Its neighbours are the Democratic Republic of the Congo to ...
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 designed to provide learning spaces and learning environments for the teaching of students (or "pupils") under the direction of teachers. Most countries have systems of formal education, which is someti ...

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 or a s ...
, 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. And it is also the process o ...
and cooperation. Schools form the foundational values and competencies that are the building blocks towards the understanding of concepts such as
justice Justice, one of the Madonna of Mercy, Palazzo Altemps, Rome">Virgin of Mercy">Madonna of Mercy, Palazzo Altemps, Rome Justice, in its broadest sense, is the principle that people receive that which they deserve, with the interpretation of what t ...
,
democracy Democracy ( gr, δημοκρατία, ''dēmokratiā'', from ''dēmos'' 'people' and ''kratos'' 'rule') is a form of government in which the people have the authority to choose their governing legislators. The decisions on who is considered par ...

democracy
and
human rights Human rights are moral principles or normsJames Nickel, with assistance from Thomas Pogge, M.B.E. Smith, and Leif Wenar, 13 December 2013, Stanford Encyclopedia of PhilosophyHuman Rights Retrieved 14 August 2014 for certain standards of human ...
. 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'' as "e authority and influence of law in society, especially when viewed as a constraint on individual and institutional behavior; (hence) the principle whereby all members of a soc ...
(RoL) together with international human rights and fundamental freedoms strengthen the relationship between learners and public institutions with the objective of empowering 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 co ...
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, it refers generally to the capacity for Earth's biosphere and human civilization to co-exist. It is also defined as the ...
world.


See also

*
Secondary education#REDIRECT Secondary education#REDIRECT Secondary education {{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from other capitalisation ...
*
Education Index An Education index is found as a component of the Human Development Index published every year by the United Nations, with the GDP Index and Life Expectancy Index, to measure the educational attainment, GDP per capita and life expectancy. Since ...
*
List of education articles by country This is a list of articles on education organized by country: A *Education in Afghanistan *Education in Albania *Education in Angola *Education in Argentina *Education in Armenia *Education in Australia *Education in Austria *Education in Azerb ...
*
List of schools by country This is a list of lists of schools, sorted by country. The list does not include educational institutions providing higher education, meaning tertiary, quaternary, or post-secondary education, for which see list of colleges and universities by count ...
*
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 published in 17th century colonial United States and it became the foundation of most schooling before t ...
1620–1720


Sources


Notes


References


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