Rules, Routines and Regimentation:

young children reporting on their schooling

by Ann Sherman £6.99 (inc UK pp) 978 1-900219-01-8    (pp)

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Very little exists that describes the feelings and thoughts of learners about school.  Even less exists about the views of five-year-old young people during the first year of their long, 15,000 hour schooling journey.  This book explores their viewpoint.  We learn that they have much to offer us by way of reflection but to find out we must first ensure that children's voices be heard.

In this book we learn what the school experience means to young children as they try to understand whether school is an inclusive place, a place where they feel they belong, a place for children.  These children provide a vital image for teachers of what really goes on.  They report that they are soon very aware of the authoritarian nature of school and its heavy dependence on imposed rules and routines as a mean of controlling what goes on in classrooms.  To many of these children, the routine itself was school.    For children, what they learn and think about school may limit what they learn in school.  It can easily become the start of the deadening of the spirit, rather than a celebration of the joy of learning. 

Dr. Ann Sherman is an experienced early childhood educator both in UK and Canada.  She is currently lecturer at the St. Francis Xavier University, Canada.

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