"Apart from the bedroom (where he has his eyes closed most of the time) there is no single enclosure in which (the child) spends a longer time than he does in the classroom" (Jackson, 1968, page 5). Among the many positions
1 Position: defined by Gross et al. (1958) as "the location of an actor or class of actors in a system of social relationships."
in our social structure is that of 'teacher'. Those who occupy this position command considerable power in terms of the influence they have on society's children. Within the classroom the teacher is the single most important influence and the pupils spend a large proportion of their waking life within this sphere of influence. Musgrove and Taylor (1969) acknowledge this power as a "new despotism: the rule of teachers". Their thesis is that teachers continually make important decisions: whether to stream or not to stream; to set up a drama club or a sports' club; to elect or to nominate class leaders, and a thousand and one other matters which to a large extent determine what their pupils will become. [FROM INTRODUCTION]