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Developing pre-service primary teachers’ perceptions of cross-curricular teaching through reflection on learning

Parker, Joan and Heywood, Dave and Jolley, Nina (2012) Developing pre-service primary teachers’ perceptions of cross-curricular teaching through reflection on learning. Teachers and teaching: theory and practice, 18 (6). pp. 693-716. ISSN 1470-1278

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Abstract

In recent years, there has been greater emphasis placed on cross-curricular approaches to teaching and learning evidenced in changes to curriculum guidance in a number of countries. Research indicates the complexity and challenge of such approaches to curriculum organisation, and presentation is considerable. This small scale study is focused on post graduate student teachers’ perceptions of cross-curricular approaches to the planning, organisation and representation of the primary curriculum. It tracks their emerging understanding of the nature of cross-curricular education prior to and following their own cross-curricular learning experience in art and science. The discussion draws on empirical evidence from questionnaires and reflective group discussion to identify student teachers’ emerging insights into the rationale underpinning such approaches to teaching and learning. The findings reveal a paradox between their initial positive perceptions and their direct experiences of such practice. The conclusions identify some implications for enhancing critical engagement and the development of teacher subject and pedagogic knowledge in initial teacher education.

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