What governs the shifts, then, and what makes the study of strategies in schools such a fascinating one, is the number and complexity of the great unknowns in the teaching enterprise, and the gap between ideals and practice. There is reason to believe that this gap is greater today than ever before, due to the pace of social
change.2 The more stable the scene, the more routinised strategies will become, and the more straightforward and manifest new ones will be. The more rapid the change, the more problems are thrown up as new situations arise, old strategies are outworn and new ones constantly demanded. Teachers are in the sort of job which is being overtaken by events, especially in the secondary area. Before they can devise a satisfactory life-support system, they are having to fall back on more and more ad hoc measures, thus devising strategies within strategies.