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Habits of Goodness: Case Studies in the Social Curriculum.

Habits of Goodness is a compelling book that provides so much food for thought that one rereads, makes notes of significant points and ideas, and responds with an affirming "Yes!" Both preservice and inservice teachers will benefit from these six thought-provoking case studies of classrooms that range from kindergarten through 6th grade. Written by experienced teachers in both rural and urban settings, the book addresses social curriculum problems.

Each case study targets a particular social situation that had troubled the profiled teacher at the beginning of the school year. The teacher presents the problems to the class, and then guides the students toward developing Habits of Goodness by integrating social and ethical peaceful practices into the daily classroom routine. Students address hard questions through reasoning, questioning and searching, and in the process, they learn self-control. As the year progresses, the teacher writes and reflects on the changes in class interactions.

Some of the problems involved superficial student conversations, caring and sharing, and boredom. Their solutions include using class meetings as a tool to engage the class in learning to listen and respond, a "Grapevine Box" for students to write down good things they witness during the week, and a class book on boredom. The students learned to use careful observation, make respectful comments and value their own and each other's efforts.

The problems presented in Habits of Goodness become an invitation to learn. The appendix outlines a case study to use as a guide for solving significant problems that impede the establishment of Habits of Goodness in readers' own classrooms. Reviewed by Jean Kueker, Chair of Education, Our Lady of the Lake University, San Antonio, TX

COPYRIGHT 1998 Association for Childhood Education International
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1998, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:Kueker, Jean
Publication:Childhood Education
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Mar 22, 1998
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