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Learning and caring in the age of the five outcomes

Adams, Paul (2007) Learning and caring in the age of the five outcomes. Education 3-13, 35 (3). pp. 225-237. ISSN 0300-4279

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At its heart Every Child Matters: change for children endeavours to engender an ethic of ‘care for’ the client group. However, although its raison d'être might well espouse such orientations, it has a certain level of internal ambiguity which if not considered might lead education to position subsequent operationalization in ways antithetical to the underpinning Every Child Matters (ECM) ethos. Similarly, external to ECM is the OfSTED inspection, which, although having undergone reorganization, further supports a standards-driven, performative orientation for contemporary primary education. This article argues that if the holistic ideals of ECM are to be realized then all those involved in education's response to ECM must consider how they are to operate within an ethic of ‘care for’ children rather than ‘care about’ standards and associated narrow definitions of teaching.