A well written research paper may begin: As the first stage of the formal educational process, primary education, or elementary education as it is commonly known in the American education system, provides students with some of the most basic tools they will need for later success. Teaching models focusing on a student’s ability to read, write, and communicate, literacy programs are highly structured and designed to reinforce the importance of being able to accomplish these tasks effectively. In addition to this, students in elementary school learn basic numerical skills, beginning with the identification of numerals, counting, and progressing to operations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
Other subject areas are integrated as a child moves throughout the various grades of primary education. Science, social studies, art, music, and physical education are some of the most common, integrated at varying points of a child’s education according to district and state standards. Students are also being exposed to technology education to a greater degree, demonstrating the transitions taking place in the classroom environment and in the pedagogical strategies used by instructors.
Primary Education and Educational Strategies
In most of the early grades of primary education, the most common strategy is where students remain with one teacher for the bulk of their lessons; if there are multiple instructors provided, usually one focuses on math skills while the other focuses on literacy. As children mature, they are more likely to transition between classes and teachers more readily, preparing them for the sort of environment they will likely encounter in higher grades.
Primary education, also called “elementary education” is the foundation of public educational systems. Primary education consists of the early years in the educational process, usually beginning at age 5 or 6 and continuing on until the sixth grade, when a child is eleven or twelve. Elementary education is important in establishing the foundation of knowledge that will prepare a student for higher levels of learning and thought processes. The emphasis in primary education is on obtaining a foundation of knowledge as well as moral and social growth in an individual and to determine each elementary child's learning style.
Primary education is aimed at:
- Providing a foundation of knowledge
- Insuring moral growth for good citizenship
- Acquiring social skills appropriate for proper childhood development
The Primary Education Teacher
The primary education teacher’s task as being global in nature. John Dewey believed that primary education should not only be a matter of intellectual instruction, but also a matter of character formation with the goal of producing people who will work to make human society better than it has been in the past. Education cannot possibly be divorced from ethics. In his Nicomachean Ethics Aristotle states, “we ought to have been brought up in a particular way from our very youth…so as both to delight in and to be pained by the things we ought.” What he is saying here implies that an educator has a duty to not only provide his/her pupils with the tools of scholarship, but also to provide them the means of making moral discriminations between what is good, what we should delight in, and what is bad, what we should be pained by. This is a weighty task, one not to be undertaken without engaging in a process whereby the instructors search their hearts in order to find out whether or not they truly understand the things that they would attempt to impart to the children.
In your research paper you may want to stress that primary education has evolved considerably since its beginnings in the mid-1900s. Prior to the 1960s, a stay-at-home mother or other family relatives cared for the majority of children at home. The few childcare programs that did exist focused only upon the skills needed by children to succeed in elementary school. Nursery schools, utilized by the middle and upper class, were often staffed by the mothers of attending children and provided a sense of continuity between the home and a child’s first experienced outside of the home. This standard changed briefly with the onset of World War II, as more women were needed in the work force and full-day childcare programs for over 2 million children were implemented as a matter of national emergency. The end of the war, however, led to women resuming their traditional roles within the home and a decline in the importance of childcare.
The decades of the 1960s and 1970s were marked by great changes in values and traditions; it was during this time that the War on Poverty took root. The idea behind this “war” was to encourage the greatest possible participation in social and economic programs at all levels of government for those in need. These needs were as diverse as the people of our country. From small town farmers to urban dwellers, government programs reflected the diversity of the population and its problems.