Reviews from books and journals this month

Race Equality Teaching

Volume 24 has been published to cover Spring 2006. This journal, published by Trentham Books, used to be MCT Multicultural Teaching, which has a history of twenty years focusing on race and education. The issue has a Guest Editor, Jane Lane, who is a member of the Editorial Board.

Jane’s theme is race equality teaching for early years children, a subject which still receives too little attention. A dozen articles and fifty pages of text help to compensate.

The issue includes a piece on anti-racism in early childhood and primary education in the USA, a complaint about the lack of black voices in early years, a piece on terminology, a fascinating description of a Sure Start programme set up to serve travelling families, and a piece on the role of fathers in black families.

My Memory Book : Keeping My Memories Safe

by Edith A. Nicholls
Russell House Publishing ISBN 1-903855-79-9   (0-4 year-olds)
Russell House Publishing ISBN 1-903855-80-2   (8+ year-olds)

This is a 72-page spiral-bound book, with different versions for different age groups, designed to help children placed away from their birth families, so that their mile-stones, interests and memories can be recorded and not lost. In the process, it is hoped that the books will help children to understand why they have to live away from their families, provide information for carers and offer a trigger for questions and discussion.

Because a lot of the books is space, it does not take the reviewer long to read them. They are nicely laid out, with pages for all the things one might want to record, such as events on the day the child was born, handprints, birthday presents, friends’ autographs and holidays. Inevitably, one could argue about the amount of space allocated for answers to particular questions. (We thought it was optimistic to only put one line for the name of the child’s Social Worker if they spend any length of time being looked after.) But there is space at the end for other memories if the amount allowed in the text is too short.

My Memory Book for 0-4 year-olds will only be as good as the carers who fill it in, but if it encourages good practice, it is worth commending, and every little child living away from his/her birth family should have a book like this. Essentially the book is providing a prompt for carers to note things down, and it is a Good Idea, being an integral part of the New Life Work Model Practice Guide, also published by RHP.

For older children and adolescents, it will be for them to decide what to record, and  a book like this runs the risk of being ignored or trashed, but it may also prove to be valued and valuable in helping a child or young person understand his/her personal identity.

Perhaps Russell House could fund some research in five years’ time to see how the books have been used.

Children and Violence : Behaviour and Responsibility

Edited by Prof. Ioan Neascu, Prof. Toma Mares and Mariana Nica
FICE-Romania ISBN 973-624-370-2

This volume of 530 pages represents the papers given at a conference in Alba Iulia in Romania. The first half of the book provides the text in Romanian and from page 281 onwards, the contents are repeated in English.

There are over twenty contributions in all, with speakers from a number of countries (Carol Kelly – USA, Monika Niederle and Karin Lauermann – Austria, Emmanuel Grupper – Israel, Gerd Schemenau and Michael Macsanaere – Germany, Ina Postma – Netherlands, Soeren Hegstrup – Denmark, and a number from Romania.

The variety of themes is wide, including domestic violence, child abuse, affective negligence, violent behaviour in schools, the impact of violence on educational achievement, violence towards children in institutions, resocialising institutionalised children, multi-interventional therapy for children with multiple problems and the link between violence and drugs. If violence is your topic, email FICE-Romania on [email protected] .

FICE-Romania : Fifteen Years of Defending Child Rights

by Ioan Nescu, Florin Antonescu, Rodica Mares, Constantin Harabor and Daniela Serban
FICE-Romania ISBN 973-624-307-9

This is a slim volume celebrating the first fifteen years of the existence of the Romanian National Section of FICE. During that time the changes in the Romanian child care system have been stupendous. While standards may not be perfect yet, the contrast between today and the horrors uncovered at the end of the Ceausescu regime is staggering. It is in part the work of a lot of outside agencies from other countries who provided help, but the improvements have also been primarily the result of hard work by the child care workers of Romania.

This book covers the period of improving standards, and contains a number of pictures and press cuttings, as well as professional contributions and messages of good will.  FICE-Romania has run a series of conferences over the years, always welcoming people from other countries, and often focusing on aspects of children’s rights. They are to be commended for their work, which is difficult in a country with limited resources. The text is in Romanian and English.

Social Na Pedagogika

The June 2006 issue (Volume 10) of the FICE-Slovenia journal has been published.  You need to be able to read Slovenian to understand the full text, but there are useful one-page abstracts in English, and the content nearly always focuses on the latest research and good practice.

In this issue, the first article looks at the way Romani children are educated. It is the practice in Slovenia for them to be fully integrated into the national school system, but they receive no special attention which the authors of the article feel they should.

A theoretical article looks at the influence of social pedagogy in Europe, and concludes that it can contribute to the development of both individuals and society as a whole.

A study of second generation immigrant children concluded that they need to learn both their original language and Slovenian, so that they can be integrated into both cultures.

Another study concludes that children with disabilities risk being overprotected in institutional care, preventing them from developing the skills needed to live independently.

Finally, there is a description of a counselling system involving volunteers working with young offenders. And there are some poems in Slovenian – at least, they look like poems.

British Journal of Educational Psychology

We were also notified of the publication of Volume 76 Part 2 June 2006, with the following contents :

209   The functional and developmental organization of cognitive developmental sequences
Andreas Demetriou and Leonidas Kyriakides
243 Foreign-grammar acquisition while watching subtitled television programmes
Sven Van Lommel, Annouschka Laenen and Géry d’Ydewalle
259      The effects of different forms of feedback on fuzzy and verbatim memory of science principles
Roy B. Clariana and Ravinder Koul
271 Teachers’ and students’ verbal behaviours during cooperative and small-group learning
Robyn M. Gillies
289  Academic emotions from a social-cognitive perspective: Antecedents and domain specificity of students’ affect in the context of Latin instruction
Thomas Goetz, Reinhard Pekrun, Nathan Hall and Ludwig Haag
309 Individual differences in children’s understanding of inversion and arithmetical skill
Camilla K. Gilmore and Peter Bryant
333 Reading errors in first- and second-grade readers of a shallow orthography:
Evidence from Spanish
Edurne Goikoetxea
351 Evidence for the effectiveness of the Early Literacy Support programme
Peter J. Hatcher, Kristina Goetz, Margaret J. Snowling, Charles Hulme, Simon Gibbs and Glynnis Smith

Situational state balances and participation motivation in youth sport:
A reversal theory perspective
Cindy H. P. Sit and Koenraad J. Lindner

385 Observation of children with attention-deficit hyperactivity (ADHD) problems in three natural classroom contexts
G. W. Lauth, B. G. Heubeck and K. Mackowiak

Confirmatory factor analysis of the Approaches to Teaching Inventory
Michael Prosser and Keith Trigwell

421 Book reviews
427   Publications received

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