Behaviour

9th September 2005 at 01:00
I'M OK BEING ME! ACTIVITIES TO PROMOTE SELF-ACCEPTANCE AND SELF-ESTEEM IN YOUNG PEOPLE AGED 12-18. By Anne Betts. Lucky DuckPaul Chapman Publishing. Pounds 17.99

This teaching resource is intended for the kind of small group-work that takes place in pupil referral units, but could be adapted by any teacher wanting to improve the self-esteem of 12-18 year-olds. Based on the author's long experience, the book presents self-esteem as a pre-requisite to constructive learning and personal fulfilment.

A short introduction explains her rationale and background. Her approach draws on transactional analysis theories developed by Eric Berne, which help explain the feeling "I'm not OK" and the value of encouraging young people to feel more OK.

It would have been helpful to explain this further, perhaps by referring to Thomas Harris's seminal I'm OK, You're OK (republished by Arrow, 1995).

The book provides two lengthy questionnaires, one for each gender, with score charts to assess self-esteem. You could buy the book for these alone.

The remainder of the book offers a guide to planning, an opening session, and 20 group activities (all printable from the CD-Rom).

The ideas are mostly imaginative, but the explanations can be vague, and there is insufficient emphasis on the value of helping pupils produce their own, more relevant content to explore. However, teachers comfortable with developmental group-work, and able to adapt material and tailor it to pupils' responses, will find this a valuable resource.

Adrian King

Health education consultant

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