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Positive Childhood: educating young citizens

POSITIVE CHILDHOOD: EDUCATING YOUNG CITIZENS. By Mildred Masheder. Merlin Press pound;9.99

Mildred Masheder takes readers on a journey through childhood and primary education that pays attention to emotional development rather than the rigours of prescriptive strategies and curricula. At the heart of the book is a reminder of our duty as educators to help children become responsible, emotionally mature citizens. She has lots of good advice, much of it familiar and well tried, but no less valuable for that, and, in any case, it's good to see it collected in this way.

She's particularly focused on the notion of dialogue, something that's often been missing in classrooms, crowded out by an earnest desire to concentrate on attainment. The arrival into schools of "citizenship", she says, with its emphasis on discussion and debate, is a positive step.

There are many classroom suggestions. I like some of the collaborative art projects, such as the one where children make shapes from clay which they add one at a time, without talking, to a group sculpture.

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