In the past decade, the national preoccupation has been on the crisis in secondary schools. Lurking behind the intractable problem of low pass rates, the dysfunctional schools and the small number of higher grade mathematics and science graduates is the calamity in primary education. Drawing on the work of researchers in a range of fields including psychology, sociology, anthropology, linguistics, economics, the health sciences, and mathematics education, this book documents the depth and scope of the primary education crisis and provides a comprehensive and rigorous explanation of its causes. Primary education in crisis pulls together the wealth of research on health, poverty, resources, language and teaching as factors in academic achievement in reading, writing and mathematics. At the centre of the book is an analysis of the published studies that systematically document what teachers teach and fail to teach, and why it is that teaching is at the heart of the crisis in primary education. The author suggests that there are no quick fixes, but only hard choices and that, for reform to succeed, it must be evidence-based.