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Internet insights;Research focus

An American study on school crime and safety at http:nces.ed.govpubsearchpubsinfo.asp?pubid=1999057 reveals that nearly one in 10 secondary school pupils in Grade 9 and above (age 14-15) claims to have carried a weapon such as a gun, knife or club on school premises.

The study, conducted by the US Bureau of Justice Statistics and the National Center for Education

Statistics, points out that almost one in 10 teachers (84 in 1,000) falls

victim to violent crime each year.

The same website shows how the United States compares with other countries in terms of secondary school and college graduation. The full table is at: http:nces.ed.govpubscec9723d01.html

"Tell the class about your home" can be a difficult request for many socially-disadvantaged children to deal with, whether in the United States or Europe.

Action researchers Merlyn Schoors, Nancy Vansieleghem and Jean Pierre Verhaeghe, from the

University of Ghent in Belgium,

recognised this problem, but believed it was a worthwhile educational

activity nevertheless. They were

convinced that primary pupils could achieve more if they felt some pride in their home life, and if

communication between school and parents were better.

The researchers gave disposable cameras to children and asked them to talk about the photographs of their homes and their families

that they brought back to the

classroom. Exposing difficult aspects of their lives, with strong support from their teachers, helped to build the children's confidence.

The parents gained a better insight into school activity, and

teachers became more sensitive to the realities of poorer homes.

A description of the project is available at: http:www.sardes.nleerapap-Schoors-l.htm

The Research Network on Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education has its homepage at: http:www.sardes.nleera

Readers can email any suggestions for future Internet Insights to Sam Saunders at

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