The role of the teacher in planning and organisation
The role of the teacher in planning and organizing for pupils’ progression has changed considerably over the past twenty years. While the teacher once had much more control and decision regarding both curriculum and how that curriculum was implemented, national standards now guide both local authorities (LEAs) and individual teachers in their planning and organisation (Bage, Grosvernor and Williams 1999).
This has produced both benefits and drawbacks. Many teachers plan more thoroughly and a standardisation has occurred from school to school and class to class through the national guidelines. The National Curriculum is divided into teachable segments, with teachers responsible for planning and teaching each segment in a way best suited to their students and teaching style (DfES 2005). However, government and educational authorities often advocate teachers produce linear, formulaic lesson plans and student progress plans, in which pre-ordained objectives for children’s learning are dominant (Bage, Grosvernor and Williams 1999, 50).
Teachers need to allow for flexibility in their planning, so they can respond to the children’s interests and any unpredicted learning needs presenting during the lesson. How an individual teacher plans and responds to pupils during a lesson, therefore, is and should be variable. Bage, Grosvernor, and Williams, in their study of primary teacher’s planning and the National Curriculum, found teacher planning remains a complex, variable and necessarily individualised activity (1999, 49).
As the DfES Special Educational Needs Code of Practice acknowledges, At the heart of the work of every primary school class is a continuous cycle of planning, teaching and assessing which takes account of the wide range of abilities aptitudes and interests of children (2001, 44). With current inclusion policies, this planning and organisation becomes even more vital to the individual teacher, as...