Key Texts: Where Next?

We have now published nearly thirty Key Texts. If you are new to this series, it consists of digests of important books, chapters of books or monographs which have introduced new ideas in child care or influenced the thinking of child care workers.

Too often politicians, civil servants, managers and child care professionals devise ‘new’ policies without considering research findings and theories developed in the past, and so we risk the bumpy ride of people re-inventing the wheel, and maybe failing. The Key Texts are the classics which they should have read, to learn lessons  from the past. Furthermore, many of the classics talk of good practice which can be a model for practitioners today.

Yet the classics are often ignored or forgotten, and so we have published a series of digests, prepared by Robert Shaw, in which the main themes and findings are laid out, the contents are described, and analyses are provided to indicate the impact of the texts on child care practice and their relevance today. Read the key texts, and you should be well informed on the child care research and practice which has shaped today’s services.

Where Next?

Looking to the future, we hope to continue. If so, it will be helpful if readers could point out any serious gaps in the list. Some authors, for example, wrote several good books and we have so far selected only one: you may have a favourite which you think should be included as well. Some had an impact at the time, but are now discredited: their influence in their own day may warrant their inclusion. We have focused more on extrafamilial care than other forms of child care: do you know of influential texts about day care, early years or secure care, for example? We have intentionally omitted key reports, and may later do a series on them. We have also omitted the child care manuals for parents – by Dr Spock for example. And there may be some important texts which we have simply missed.

Please let us know which texts you feel we should include.

List to Date

Mary Carpenter (November 2008)

Elias Trotzkey (November 2008)

Raissa Page and George Clark (December 2008)

Advisory Council (December 2008)

Barbara Kahan and Geoff Banner (January 2009)

Karen Vander Ven (January 2009)

Homer Lane (February 2009)

Anton Makarenko (February 2009)

David Fanshel and Eugene Shinn (March 2009)

Delores Taylor and Stuart Alpert (March 2009)

Bengt Nirje (April 2009)

King, Raynes and Tizard (April 2009)

Mr Lyward (May 2009)

Tom O’Neill (May 2009)

Harold Skeels (June 2009)

Martin Wolins (June 2009)

A S Neill (July 2009)

David Wills (July 2009)

August Aichhorn (August 2009)

Bruno Bettelheim (August 2009)

Alec Clegg and Barbara Megson (September 2009)

Jane Rowe and Lydia Lambert (September 2009)

James and Joyce Robertson (October 2009)

Donald Winnicott and Clare Britton (October 2009)

Fritz Redl and David Wineman (November 2009)

Trieschman, Whittaker and Brendtro (November 2009)

Pat Cawson and Mary Martell (provisionally December 2009)

Geoffrey Blumenthal (provisionally December 2009)

Anita and Eugene Wiener (publication date not yet allocated)

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