"Respecting Childhood" critically examines modern day views and practices related to children and childhood. It begins with a discussion of how Western society conceptualizes and often idealizes children as being fragile, innocent and 'incompetent' (or 'immature'). Childhood is often reduced by adults to being seen as preparation for the future, instead of being viewed as a stage of life worthy of respect in its own right. This is evidenced in parenting styles, practices and structures in schools, and media representations. As a result of these views of childhood, many extreme ways of living and working with children have been proposed, from over-permissiveness on the one hand, to a call for a 'back to basics' strict style of discipline and education on the other.Childhood is now seen as being so complex that parents and teachers frequently feel the need to seek out and follow often conflicting 'expert advice' on how to raise and teach children, rather than following their natural instincts and common sense."
Respecting Children" advocates a more balanced approach, calling for views of children that allow them to be children, and to live their childhood in the present, rather than constantly having to follow the dubious proposition of 'maximizing' their learning and development in order to become more competitive, successful adults in the future.Each chapter explores a different aspect of children's lives, such as their relationships with others, their capabilities, their behaviour, and looks to how these compare in the different contexts of society, home and school life. 'Windows on research', case studies and discussion questions engage the reader, making this book accessible for undergraduate students of courses such as Childhood Studies, Early Childhood Education and Education Studies, and to those of MA Education and MA Childhood and Society programmes.
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Number of pages: 168
Weight: 363 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 20 mm
'Delightful to read. Loreman takes a fresh approach to the way in which we view children and challenges traditional, rigid child-adult relationships. It is a book for our new millennium. It traverses contemporary themes and issues, explores and values children's diversity and how we might educate them, and does so against a backdrop of research that provides a figurative flashlight beam into the future.' Adrian Ashman, Professor of Education, University of Queensland, Australia
'There are few books on children and childhood that are as wide-ranging, well documented and timely as this one. The author, whose insight into and devotion to children is apparent on every page, presents issues like family relationships, technology, IQ tests, schooling, inclusion programs and societal perceptions of children in a beautifully written, jargon free manner that is reminiscent of the very best writing in the field of children and childhood. This book encourages the reader to get beyond both Freud and Piaget's definition of children as incomplete adults and to see childhood as a valuable stage of life in and of itself. A book like this is long overdue in this particular field because it contains many useful ideas for improving both our understanding and treatment of children.' David G. Wangler, Professor Emeritus, Department of Educational Policy Studies, University of Alberta, Canada