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Young Friends: Schools and Friendships.

Drawing on their vast experiences as practicing educational psychologists, these British authors skillfully integrate theory and practice in meaningful ways for teachers and caregivers. Concerned with more than just observing social skills, the writers look at the whole area of the social curriculum in schools.

The authors effectively use a sequential format. In the beginning chapter, they take great care to help the reader understand how children develop friendships from early childhood to adolescence. Although the majority of this book's activities are most appropriate for children ages 8 to 13, the authors consistently make references to children of all ages. After discussing individual friendship strategies, the authors then analyze what is involved in being a group member. Other chapters include a close examination of diversity's effect on relationships and conflict. The section on bullying and ways to make schools safer is valuable, given the concern today about violence in the schools. Finally, the authors extensively explore the social climates of the playground and the classroom.

The conversational writing style makes this book user-friendly and easy to read. Relevant quotes from children aptly underscore the authors' points. Children's delightful drawings, with corresponding descriptive captions about friendships, also help set the tone for each chapter's theme. Numerous anecdotes about children's social relationships, as well as hundreds of practical examples of effective strategies for teachers and caregivers, greatly enhance the text. The wonderful activities for children in the "taking action" section at the end of each chapter are extremely valuable.

Some of the terminology in the book is distinctively British, as are many of the suggested resources. Readers will find, however, that the examples of friendship problems and the suggested techniques for developing a positive social environment in educational surroundings are very applicable in both Britain and America. Reviewed by Susan A. Miller, Professor of Elementary Education, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania
COPYRIGHT 1996 Association for Childhood Education International
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1996, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:Miller, Susan A.
Publication:Childhood Education
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Dec 22, 1996
Words:308
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