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This film, shot specially in the U.S.A. and in Britain, examines the open classroom in elementary and primary schools and the claims made for it. The film is narrated by John Raynor, senior lecture...r in educational studies at the Open University. An elementary school in Wellesley, Massachusetts, and the Curriculum Resource Centre which supports it form the central part of the film. One of the school's teachers, Sue Belanger, explains the basic way she organises her day and we eavesdrop on a morning's activity there. Two essential features of the American school are: the provision of teachar aides including mothers, and the close relationship with the Curriculum Resource Centre which provides everything from classroom furniture and instructional materials to special resource teachers. We also hear from the school principal and the director of the Curriculum Resource Centre. The provision of aides and help with instructional materials is compared to more crowded English primary schools whore the teachers are working the open classroom without many of Wellesley's advantages. The comments of English teachers are also included in the sound track.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: E283, "The curriculum: context, design and development"
Item code: E283; 01
First transmission date: 29-01-1972
Published: 1972
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:21:54
Note: (missing).
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Producer: Gwynn Pritchard
Contributors: Sue Belanger; John Raynor
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Britain; Curriculum innovation; Curriculum Resource Centre; Elementary and primary schools; Teacher aides; Teaching materials; Wellesley Massachusetts
Footage description: Raynor, voice over, introduces the programme which will look at the open classroom, using examples from an elementary school in Wellesley, U.S.A. and British schools. Throughout the programme there are shots of classroom activities. Belanger, a teacher at Wellesley, explains how she works her open system, with child self expression as one aim. A British teacher explains the advantages of the open system she operates, its freedom and flexibility. The school principal at Wellesley discusses some of the problems which can go with the system. He also outlines the demands it puts on teachers and their involvement. Belanger looks at problems she has come up against aggressive children, the need for quiet, etc. A British teacher outlines some difficulties, essentially of physical facilities. Wellesley school principal also emphasises the need for materials and resources, in the child's self learning process. Belanger discusses a story with a pupil. She goes on to stress the individual attention she can devote. Other adults, such as parents, are seen helping in the classroom, listening to children reading etc. Adequate provision of teaching aids is stressed with the Wellesley Curriculum Resource Center introduced. The director of the Resource Center discusses how resource teachers work with the local schools and what the center provides to service teacher programmes. Shots of teacher distributing song books. A British teacher comments on how useful a resource centre would be to her. Raynor sums up on the open classroom method. He poses some questions to see how different and successful it is.
Master spool number: 6LT/10055
Production number: 00521_2621
Videofinder number: 3461
Available to public: no