In the field of education, the belief is often expressed among educators and non-educators alike that "elementary teachers teach kids; secondary teachers teach subject matter." This sets up an unspoken dichotomy that elementary teachers do not teach subject matter and that secondary teachers do not teach kids. This presents a problem situation. At the heart of this problem situation is the fact that elementary and secondary educators have little, if any, contact with one another within the public school setting. As a result, one has no idea what the other is doing, and this serves to further perpetuate stereotypes. Communication does not take place from one grade level to the next, and this leads to an undesirable society. "An undesirable society, in other words, is one which internally and externally sets up barriers to free intercourse and communication of experience" (Dewey, 1997, p. 99). Because administrators do not build conjoint inservices into the school calendar, and because teachers get caught up with what is taking place in their own classrooms, to the exclusion of what is taking place in their colleagues' classrooms, barriers exist that prevent educators from engaging in free intercourse and communication of experience. Communication, cooperation, and collaboration are not taking place between elementary and secondary educators, yet there is much to be gained by such an alliance. The result is an undesirable society in America's public schools.
Coke, Pamela Ames
"A Deweyan Perspective on Communication, Cooperation, and Collaboration Between Elementary and Secondary Educators,"
Education and Culture:
2, Article 5.
Available at: http://docs.lib.purdue.edu/eandc/vol16/iss2/art5