The original Theme work was published in 1986 as the result of some intensive work by primary teachers in Birmingham.  That book sold out.  This is fully revised edition was published in 1991 to take account of changes and developments not least related to the challenges of the new national curriculum and the Education Reform Act. 

The original Theme Work was one of three documents published under the theme: Development Education in the Primary School.  See also A sense of school [link] and Hidden Messages [link] 

The various projects [from 1980 on] that contributed to this work had to challenge the notion that development education did not have much of a role with primary learning.  By the time of this publication there were a greater number of resources available in development education, multi-cultural/anti-racist education and in gender initiatives.  The World Studies Project also contributed to this change in thinking.

When teachers plan ‘theme work' together, there can be a dynamic creative sharing of ideas, resources and activities.  The first part of this book suggests how the process of planning together might take place.  It also discusses the process of learning and the value of group work.  The section entitled 'Children working together' outlines some basic activities that can be applied in many different situations. 

Four themes are used to illustrate how a global dimension might be developed:

What is a country? … an understanding of place and the relationship between places;

Roots and journeys … how and why people travel and what they bring with them;

Images … how children can begin to express and talk through their assumptions;

Change … a concept focused approach … connections between people's experiences. 

Many teachers who used the original Theme work contributed their expertise and experience in the development of the new book.  The publications process provided an anchor and focus for the creative work needed.  


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