chapter  X
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Craftsmanship in Teaching

Teachers can be described in many ways. They have been likened to artists, to gardeners, or, more recently, to social engineers; and each phrase conveys some inkling of their power. Teachers are craftsmen in their concern with the material under their hand. The course taken by educational research over the decades since 'experimental education' brought research workers into the schools. The first formal endeavour of the infant school is directed to the teaching of reading; and success in this comes through the discovery by pupils that communication of meaning is possible through certain symbols on blackboard or paper. Little emphasis is put on the topic of 'age-placement' in reading or in other subjects. Discovery comes through counting, comparing, and building up new groups or new models from their contributory parts. The choice of historical topics for history courses in schools has, like the order of their presentation, been influenced by successive interpretations in the fields of philosophy, psychology, and education.