Children are forced to go to schools that are divided into PRIMARY and SECONDARY. The Scots started this in the 1600s. There is a clear-cut division between one and the other.
Primary school teachers have to be expert in teaching children how to learn and they do this by using a large number of subjects or key learning areas or whatever one likes to call them. Each teacher covers a very wide range of key learning areas and is personally responsible for the progress of each child in the same social group all day, every day for a full school year. It is an enormous responsibility. To cope, each has to be adept at using a wide variety of teaching strategies that suit the circumstances.
Secondary teachers specialise in areas of interest that somebody or other decides should be learned. They do this by maintaining the vision that their pupils will exit the school system as potential students, ready to follow particular interests that have a vocational bent. Most ‘subjects’ are seen or should be seen to contribute to the quality of each citizen’s future in some way or other. When schooling is finished, tertiary institutions and work experiences take over to provide emerging students with access to sources for further learning.
Futurists now tell us that a person who undertakes a four year tertiary course will find that most of the material learned in the first year will become useless by the third.
How do we know what subjects will be useful for them at school? It used to be clear when the Universities set the boundaries and vocations were clear-cut