12 Pages


Over the last half-century there have been two distinct stages in English primary education. The first, from the 1960s to the early 1980s, heavily influenced by the theories of Dewey (1929), Piaget (1973), Vygotsky (1964) and Bruner (1972, 1986), was dominated by a discourse of child-centredness, discovery learning and care. The second, from the mid-1980s to the end of the century, saw a complete contrast as education was given over to a discourse based on market principles, rational-technicism and managerialism, which squeezed the life out of creativity in many schools. We might now be entering a third stage, where creativity is making a reappearance but still within the structure and discourse of the second stage.